Preventative, ‘soft’ counter-terrorism policies have proved internationally controversial, as criticisms of Britain’s Prevent strategy show. However, there is a danger that change, complexity and contestation within approaches like Prevent are overlooked. This article examines Prevent’s changing focus of ‘responsibilisation’ and, in response, changing experiences of contestation by both the local state and by local Muslim communities, including mediation and ‘enactment’ by organisations and individual professionals. In discussing this, the article argues for a more nuanced analysis of Prevent, around both the ‘state’ and the situated use of agency and policy space. This supports the contention that Prevent is ‘complexly flawed’.
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