Governing threatening environments
in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
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This chapter develops an account of how Prevent manages problematic spaces. Notably, this represents the conflation of community cohesion work and Prevent. While community cohesion develops separately to Prevent, a discursive reading of cohesion and Prevent texts show how the two become conjoined as a way of thinking about, and governing, threatening communal environments. Prevent also contains a focus on problematic institutions such as schools and prisons wherein extremism could take hold. Both rely on an analysis that understands an alienation from ‘Britishness’ and ‘British values’ to represent a threat which can be managed by intervening into the spaces in which radicalisation occurs. In order to manage these spaces, a governmental approach is invoked, wherein through intervening into the circulation of identities, it is presumed that less threatening identities can be generated. Yet it also pushes beyond Foucault’s articulation of this modality of power, seeking not just to regulate flows, but to actively intervene to promote ‘British’ identifications.


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