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Just sharing – What is countering violent extremism? Exploring CVE policy and practice in Australia

Behavioral_Sciences_of_Terrorism_and_Political_Aggression_148_214_sTo cite this article: Shandon Harris-Hogan, Kate Barrelle & Andrew Zammit (2015): What is countering violent extremism? Exploring CVE policy and practice in Australia, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, DOI: 10.1080/19434472.2015.1104710

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The following article contributes to the emerging field of countering violent extremism (CVE) by proposing a framework to understand and categorise CVE programs, and applying this to Australia’s CVE efforts from 2010 to 2014. The first section outlines the evolution of CVE as a policy tool. A framework to categorise CVE programs based on the public health model follows, using illustrative examples of CVE projects run in Western countries. This framework is then applied to CVE programs in Australia, providing a preliminary analysis of CVE policy and its impact. It finds that Australian CVE efforts have overwhelmingly focused on broadly targeted prevention programs that not only make success difficult to evaluate or demonstrate, but also raise the risk of stigmatising entire communities. Most significantly, this broad focus has meant that Australian CVE efforts have likely failed to reach those most in need of assistance.

About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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