This chapter demonstrates that the anlaysis of chapter 1 has been,
historically, reproduced across much of the academic literature on Prevent.
This literature, it will be argued, often sees the ‘solution’ to Prevent as
the separation of its security and identity strands. It therefore positions
the two strands as ‘separable’, failing to go beyond the questions that the
policy itself asks. It can thus be argued that the academic literature, even
when critical, has failed to develop an account of Prevent that conceptually
grasps the relationship between security and identity established in the
policy. This chapter then analyses two approaches to Prevent, emergent
within the literature, that provide a means of moving beyond this position:
first, an approach that argues Prevent has produced Muslims in the UK as a
‘suspect community’, and second, an approach that argues Prevent represents
a strategy of counter-insurgency.
This chapter explores the reasons for the state of surprise, sketching them out from the starting point of the significant impact of the collapse of the USSR on Western understandings of Russia. It also explores the practical ramifications for the decline of Russia as a political priority on the wider political stage. The chapter outlines some of the problems of the current mainstream discussion of Russia, which is drowning in a discourse of speculation and rumour, 'Putinology' and historical analogies. Despite the dominance of transitological/regime question approach and the perceived eccentricity of Kremlinology, for many it has remained a truism of Russian political life that the final decisions are made behind the closed doors of the Kremlin. In fact, the collapse of the USSR has had serious ramifications for the study of Russia in the West, resulting in a major reassessment of Soviet studies, often bitter and acrimonious.