Everyday Prevention of Radicalization: The Impacts of Family, Peer, and Police Intervention
by Rune Ellefsen and Sveinung Sandberg
This study examines early intervention against individual radicalization. The data originate from interviews with young Muslims in Norway who had experienced interventions related to their own radicalization, or engaged in or witnessed interventions directed at a radicalized peer or relative.
We find that informal interventions by family and friends were most prevalent in the data and played the most decisive role in interrupting radicalization, while police interventions were less common and had mixed results. Interventions by family or peers often came early in the radicalization process, were employed by trusted “insiders”, and took place as part of everyday life, thus having less detrimental consequences for radicalized individuals. We finally discuss the challenges of combining interventions by family members and friends with involvements from the police and security service.