1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Violent Extremism and Resilience

Edited By Richard McNeil-Willson, Anna Triandafyllidou Copyright 2023
    330 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    At a time of great global uncertainty and instability, communities face fracturing from the increasing influence of extremist movements hostile to democratic and multicultural norms. Europe and the West have grown increasingly polarised in recent years, beset with financial crises, political instability, the rise of malicious actors and irregular violence, and new forms of media and social media. These factors have enabled the spread of new forms of extremism and suggest a growing need for a response sensitive to inequalities and divisions in wider society – a task made even more urgent by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

    The Routledge Handbook of Violent Extremism and Resilience brings together research conducted throughout Europe and the world, to analyse various articulations of violent extremism and consider the impact that such groups and networks have had on the wellbeing of communities and societies. It examines different theories, factors, and national case studies of extremism, polarisation, and societal fragmentation, drilling deep into national examples to map trends across Europe, North America, and Australasia, to provide regional and state-level comparative analysis. It also offers a thorough exploration of resilience – a recent addition to counterextremism policy and practice – to consider how it has come to play this increasingly central role in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/ CVE), the limitations and opportunities of such approaches, and how it could be shared, developed, problematised, and deployed in response to violence and polarisation.

    The Handbook details new trends in both violent extremism and counter-extremism response, within this increasingly fractured global context. It critically explores the latest theories of community violence, extremism, polarisation, and resilience, mapping them across case study countries. In doing so, it presents new findings for students, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers seeking to understand these new patterns of polarisation and extremism and develop community-driven responses.

    Part I: Core Issues on Violent Extremism and Resilience

    1. Violent Extremism and Resilience in the 21st Century

    Richard McNeil-Willson, Anna Triandafyllidou and Vivian Gerrand

    2. Assessing our Understanding of (Violent) Extremism

    Richard McNeil-Willson

    3. Resilience to Violent Extremism at the Crossroads

    Michele Grossman

    4. European Trends in Polarisation and Resilience

    Sheryl Prentice and Paul Taylor

    5. Young People, Radicalisation, and Resilience

    Vivian Gerrand

    6. Online Extremism and Resilience

    Amy-Louise Watkin

    Part II: Country Cases

    Western Europe

    7. France

    Francesca Scrinzi

    8. United Kingdom

    Tahir Abbas, Richard McNeil-Willson and Lianne Vostermans

    Northern Europe

    9. The Netherlands

    Maria Vliek and Martijn de Koning

    10. Norway

    Rune Ellefsen and Martin M. Sjøen

    Central and Eastern Europe

    11. Germany

    Fabian Virchow

    12. Hungary

    Zsuzsanna Vidra and Michael C. Zeller

    13. Poland

    Michael C. Zeller and Jana Hrckova


    Southern Europe

    14. Italy

    Francesca Scrinzi

    15. Greece

    Eda Gemi

    Australasia and North America

    16. Australia

    Michele Grossman and Vivian Gerrand

    17. New Zealand

    Jacinta Carroll

    18. Canada

    Sara K. Thompson

    19. United States of America

    Brian Hughes


    Richard McNeil-Willson is a research fellow in the field of terrorism and political violence at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University, Netherlands and Visiting Scholar at King’s College, the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. His work critically examines the interconnections between groups labelled ‘extremist’ and counter-extremism legislation, as well as the impact of counterterrorism on democratic and human rights. He is also a former Max Weber research fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, and holds a UK Research Council- funded PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University. He has worked on several European Commission projects and has advised the European Commission directly in developing policy responses to far- right violence.

    Anna Triandafyllidou holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Canada. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the governance of migration and asylum; nationalism and identity issues; and overall, the contemporary challenges of migration and integration across different world regions. Her authored books include What is Europe? (with Ruby Gropas, Second Edition, Routledge, 2022), Migration and Return in Southeastern Europe (with E. Gemi, Routledge, 2021), Migrant Smuggling (with T. Maroukis, McMillan, 2012), and Immigrants and National Identity in Europe (Routledge 2001). She recently edited a volume on Migration and Pandemics (Springer, 2022). Her recent journal publications have appeared in Comparative Migration Studies (2021, 2022), Environment and Planning A: Economy and Society (2022), Ethnicities (2022), International Migration (2021), the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2022), and Nations and Nationalism (2020).