3: Beyond Prevent: Muslim engagement in city governance

This chapter examines the Prevent strand of the government’s counterterrorism strategy as a form of regulation, exploring its evolving local reception and implementation over the period from the New Labour to the Conservative-led Coalition governments. Launched in 2007 by New Labour as a community engagement, ‘hearts and minds’ approach to countering violent extremism, Prevent set out to partner and engage with Muslim communities to address the causes of radicalisation. In its 2007 guise, this involved locally focused Muslim community engagement projects. That approach was widely criticised for the limited offer of engagement that it seemed to present and was beset by allegations that Prevent was a means by which the government sought to achieve the mass surveillance of British Muslims. Here, the chapter argues that it is important to consider the effects of regulation in ways that go beyond consideration of the aims and logics of regulatory systems, to analysing carefully the nature and implications of regulation in practice.

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