Background study: Cross-regional comparison of ‘DOs and DON’Ts’ in the EU’s PVE Measures: Balkans, Maghreb/ Sahel & Middle East
The following report presents the research findings of a cross-societal comparison of PREVEX-related regions, with the aim of providing ideas about what has been successful and what has proven detrimental to the EU’s preventing violent extremism (PVE) efforts. As per the PREVEX consortium’s project architecture, structured comparisons serve as a central pillar for the extrapolation and generation of cross-cutting lessons and policy recommendations concerning PVE. While sporadic, intra-regional, comparative elements are already apparent within three PREVEX regional Policy Briefs – on the Balkans (D5.1), the Maghreb/Sahel (D6.1) and the Middle East (D7.1) – these documents are confined to countries within these respective regions that partly share territorial, societal, and cultural similarities. In contrast, the explicit mandate for the research to be undertaken here under Work Package 8 is to conduct cross-cutting comparisons between these radically different regions – all without losing sight of domestic-specific PVE aspects, the highlighting of which might help to generate ideas for other contexts. The conduct of such cross-regional comparisons is premised upon the methodological prerequisite of being aware, as the comparisons are being conducted, of some wide qualitative differences between the regions compared. The identification of lessons for policymaking will be considerably stronger if one can demonstrate that, despite considerable divergences, certain PVE strategies continue to perform well across the board. The consolidation of such lessons – based on validations from across different cultures, structural contexts, and radically divergent Islamic traditions – provides for an additional measure of confirmation as to their pertinence. The overt attempt of the authors of this study has been to search diligently for such ‘across-the-board’ lessons.