Since April 2014, France has been developing a three-stage counter-radicalisation model, covering the areas of detection, prevention and de-radicalisation. Little has been said in the English literature on the organisation, the effectiveness and the challenges of this approach. France’s centralised tradition led to the implementation of a vertical structure of action dominated by the Interior Ministry. A major difficulty faced by the French authorities is to manage various “profiles” of at-risk individuals, including converts, underage individuals and young women. This illustrates a significant diversification of the groups of population affected by Salafi-Jihadist radicalisation. The French counter-radicalisation strategy is expected to lead the fight against violent extremism, but it remains hampered by divisions over the role of Islam. This bone of contention, which is indicative of the French state and society’s complex relationship with religion, substantially affects the consistency of deradicalisation programmes.
Keywords: France, Radicalisation, De-radicalisation, Detection, Profiling
This article is an expanded and updated version of a paper titled “The French Counter-radicalisation Strategy” which was published by the Centre of Excellence – Defense against Terrorism (COE-DAT)’s review (DATR, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2016, pp. 67-88).
About the Author
Romain Quivooij is an Associate Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He obtained his Master of Arts in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London. Prior to joining CENS, Romain worked for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the General Staff of the French Armed Forces. He was also an intern at the Institute of Strategic Research of the French Military School and the Emerging Security Threats programme of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. His research interests include radicalisation and deradicalisation processes; online extremism; radical Islam and armed insurgent movements; counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency.
Europe / Terrorism Studies / Working Papers
Last updated on 27/12/2016