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.
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.