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Addressing Violent Radicalisation and Extremism: A Restorative Justice & Psychosocial Approach

Theo Gavrielides (2025) New York: Springer

Book's impetus & innovation

This groundbreaking book revisits the current model for preventing and controlling violent radicalisation and extremism. It proposes a positive, evidence-based model, called RJiNEAR, using restorative justice, positive criminology and positive psychology.

 

The book combines philosophy, normative analysis and primary data collected through six pilot projects that were carried out in several countries from 2017. It presents the results of these pilots and normative thinking through critical analysis leading to practical tools for preventing and controlling harm particularly violent radicalised acts and extremist behaviours and worldviews.

 

This book speaks to researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and human rights campaigners from around the world looking for a new approach that can better serve harmed parties, their families, and communities.

Table of contents

The book is structured around three parts moving from theory to pilots and ultimately to critical analysis.  

 

Part I aims to present the normative and philosophical framework within which the book’s objectives are placed. It starts by critically presenting the current deficit model that is being used to prevent and control violence and harm including violent radicalisation and extremism. It then moves on to analyse rehabilitation through the lenses of restorative justice, positive psychology and positive criminology. Subsequently, the book's positive resilience model, RJiNEAR, is introduced. Part I concludes by putting the book within the context of power abuse. We look at the dual nature of power as an architect of terror, but also the key ingredient for prevention and healing.

 

Part II is exclusively based on new, original data collected through six case studies and fieldwork. The case studies act as pilots that used the book's positive model for building resilience against harm and embodying the restorative justice ethos. While most of the case studies were carried out between 2017 - 2023 some still continue. Extremist worldviews and hate leading to violent radicalised acts are not static phenomena. They evolve as society is faced with the realities of new global collective shames including the latest war in Ukraine and Gaza, political instability within powerful states and the erosion of equalities. Any model that aspires to prevent and control violence (especially harms that  are motivated by extremist and radical views) must be malleable, innovative and indeed brave. Otherwise, it will quickly be faced with a deficit in narrative and practice.  Hence, this Part of the book merely aspires to create the first step in articulating in practice the RJiNEAR positive approach, and through this early evidence inspire others to continue to develop it.

 

Part III combines the normative and empirical approaches of the previous two parts to achieve two objectives. Firstly, it engages in a critical analysis of all the presented evidence and arguments in the hope that new directions can be further explored for rehabilitation and the repair of harm, rooting out hate and the reasons that corrupt our ability to live together. Through this account, the book encourages the reader to attempt a self-reflection by awakening feelings of responsibility, and by raising awareness of the role that we all have in accepting the powers that control the status quo that feeds into the divisive narratives that lead to violence, inequality and injustices. Secondly, it provides a practical guide for implementing the book's positive model. This guide is the accumulative result of lessons, data, feedback and mistakes that were drawn from all the case studies combined with analyses of existing relevant positions from the extant literature. 

To find out more about Gavrielides' work in this area follow the link

 

Preface: Written by leading expert(s) in the field (TBC)

 

Introduction & book’s impetus​

 

PART I: CHALLENGING AND CHANGING PERSPECTIVES

 

Chapter 1: New wine in old wineskins: conceptual agreements and a new way forward

Chapter 2: Reconciling rehabilitation and restorative justice: a new vision of pain as punishment

Chapter 3: The RJiNEAR positive model for building resilience against harm and embodying the restorative justice ethos

Chapter 4: The dual nature of power: feeding and preventing terror

PART II: PERSPECTIVES PILOTED: SIX CASE STUDIES

 

Chapter 5: Case study 1 – preventing violent youth radicalisation: Large-scale pilots in the UK, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Sweden, Romania, and Portugal.

Chapter 6: Case study no 2 - online violent youth radicalisation. The youth-led method for prevention

 

Chapter 7: Case study no 3 - understanding online violent youth radicalisation: Pilots in the UK, Cyprus, Greece, Belgium and France.

Chapter 8: Case study no 4 - preventing violent radicalisation in the criminal justice system: Pilots in the UK, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Ireland and Italy.

Chapter 9: Case study no 5 - preventing group and radical youth violence: A small-scale, London community-based pilot

Chapter 10: Case study 6 - building youth resilience through sports, art and restorative justice: A multi-year, ongoing London pilot

PART III: PERSPECTIVES IMPLEMENTED: PRACTICAL GUIDES & REFLECTIONS

 

Chapter 11: Critical perspectives

Chapter 12: Gaps, next steps and a guide for research policy and practice

Epilogue: Awakening the terrorist within​​

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