Anti-radicalisation strategy lacks evidence base in science

The Guardian, September 28,2016

We are concerned with the implementation of “radicalisation” policies within the UK Prevent strategy, internationally referred to as countering violence extremism. Tools that purport to have a psychology evidence base are being developed and placed under statutory duty while their “science” has not been subjected to proper scientific scrutiny or public critique.

Of particular concern is the Extremism Risk Guidance 22+ (ERG22+) framework that is being used as the basis for assessing risk of “radicalisation” and referral to the Channel programme. More than 500,000 public servants have been placed under a duty to implement the tool and several dozen children have been directly affected, through the courts, based on assessments using the tool. The impact is significant and cannot be emphasised enough.

We endorse the recent statement by the Royal College of Psychiatrists calling for publication of the ERG22+ study. We call on the Home Office to do so and further to invite debate by experts.

All those engaged in academic study should continue to serve the interests of society by remaining faithful to the ethical standards and science of their traditions. Where we play a role cooperatively with government policy, we should hold ourselves to the highest possible standards to ensure that we maintain the independence and transparency of our professions.

Karen Armstrong
Professor Marc Sageman
Professor Noam Chomsky Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Humayun Ansari Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor David Miller University of Bath
Professor Arun Kundnani New York University
Professor Tariq Ramadan University of Oxford
Professor Tim Jacoby University of Manchester
Professor John L Esposito Georgetown University
Professor Catarina Kinnvall Lund University
Professor Andrew Samuels University of Essex
Professor David Whyte University of Liverpool
Professor Richard Jackson University of Otago
Professor Laleh Khalili School of Oriental and African Studies
Professor Adam Gearey Birkbeck College, University of London
Professor Vian Bakir Bangor University
Professor Ruth Blakeley University of Kent
Professor Robert Gleave University of Exeter
Professor Emeritus Philip G Cerny University of Manchester
Professor Piers Robinson University of Sheffield
Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya University of East London
Professor Vini Lander Edge Hill University
Professor Salman Sayyid University of Leeds
Professor Bill Bowering Birkbeck College, University of London
Professor Aziz Huq University of Chicago
Professor Jenny Hocking Monash University
Professor Eric Herring University of Bristol
Professor Julian Petley Brunel University, London
Professor Yasir Qadhi Rhodes College
Professor Raphael Salkie University of Brighton
Professor Jeremy Keenan Queen Mary University London
Professor Les Back Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Robert W McChesney University of Illinois
Professor Stellan Vinthagen University of Massachusetts
Professor Susan Condor Loughborough University
Professor Dave Hill Anglia Ruskin University
Professor Edward S Herman University of Pennsylvania
Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd Northwestern University
Professor Bernadette Calafell University of Denver
Professor Barbara Harlow University of Texas, Austin
Professor Lara Deeb Scripps College
Professor Phillip Metres John Carroll University
Professor Ramon Grosfoguel University of California, Berkeley
Professor Khaled Beydoun University of Detroit, Mercy
Dr Tarak Barkawi London School of Economics and Political Science
Dr Narzanin Massoumi University of Liverpool
Professor Stephen Reicher University of St Andrews
Dr Leda Blackwood University of Bath
Dr Charles Figley Tulane University, New Orleans
Dr Bob Jeffery Sheffield Hallam University
Dr John Drury University of Sussex
Dr Alice LoCicero The Wright Institute
Dr Emma O’Dwyer Kingston University
Dr Shazad Amin Consultant psychiatrist, National Health Service
Dr Vivian L Vignoles University of Sussex
Dr Derek Summerfield Consultant psychiatrist
Dr Suman Fernando London Metropolitan University
Dr Sushrut Jadhav University College London
Dr Michael Gopfert University of Liverpool
Dr Rukyya Hassan University of Manchester
Dr Huseyin Cakal Keele University
Dr Winnifred Louis University of Queensland
Dr Philip Thomas Author and retired psychiatrist
Dr Lisa Hajjar University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr Nadine El-Enany Birkbeck College, University of London
Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly University of Warwick
Dr Fahid Qureshi Canterbury Christchurch University
Dr Katy P Sian University of York
Dr Rizwaan Sabir Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Emma L Briant University of Sheffield
Dr Julia Welland University of Warwick
Dr Sadia Habib Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Anisa Mustafa University of Nottingham
Dr Sarah Marusek Public Interest Investigations and Spinwatch
Dr Monish Bhatia Abertay University
Dr Paul-Francois Tremlett The Open University
Dr Heather Mendick Research consultant
Dr Jo Frankham Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Jane Essex Brunel University, London
Dr Abida Malik University of Nottingham
Dr William Jackson Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Jeffrey A Sluka Massey University, New Zealand
Dr Haitham al-Haddad Independent Scholar
Dr Feyzi Ismail School of Oriental and African Studies
Dr Fuad Ali University of East London
Dr Joseph Darlington Futureworks Media School (UCLan)
Dr Leena Robertson Middlesex University
Dr Steve Hanson Lecturer and writer
Dr Joanna Gilmore University of York
Dr Virinder S Kalra University of Manchester
Dr Jonathan Gilhooly University of Brighton
Dr Mark Carrigan University of Warwick
Dr Francis Farrell Edge Hill University
Dr Tina Managhan Oxford Brookes University
Dr Jeffrey Stevenson Murer University of St Andrews
Dr Tanzil Chowdhury University of Manchester
Dr Muhammad G Khan Ruskin College, Oxford
Dr Shamim Miah University of Huddersfield
Dr Vicky Duckworth Edge Hill University
Dr Louise Purbrick University of Brighton
Dr Emily Wykes University of Nottingham
Dr Rob Smith Birmingham City University
Dr Sivamohan Valluvan University of Manchester
Dr Heather Smith Newcastle University
Dr Patricia McManus University of Brighton
Dr Graham Smith University of Manchester
Dr Caroline Ruddell Brunel University London
Dr Carl Morris University of Central Lancashire
Dr Robin Dunford University of Brighton
Dr Shohini Chaudhuri University of Essex
Dr Necla Acik University of Manchester
Dr Bethan Harries University of Manchester
Dr Laia Becares University of Manchester
Dr Nadia Edmond School of Education
Dr Vicky Margree University of Brighton
Dr Doerthe Rosenow Oxford Brookes University
Dr Lesley Whitworth University of Brighton
Dr Les Levidow Open University
Dr Daniel Burrows University of Brighton
Dr George Tsekouras University of Brighton
Dr Paul Robert Gilbert University of Brighton
Dr Fatima Chrifi Alaoui San Francisco State University
Asim Qureshi Cage
Yahya Birt University of Leeds
Julie Ward MEP
Trevor MacFarlane Cultural Affairs, European Parliament
Hilary Aked University of Bath
Robin Richardson Insted
Bill Bolloten Education Not Surveillance
Liam McCann University of Lincoln
Phil Edwards Manchester Metropolitan University
Will McGowan University of Liverpool
Catherine Adams Nottingham Trent University
Milly Williamson Brunel University
Gary Riley-Jones Goldsmiths University of London
Dawud Walid Council of American-Islamic Relations, Michigan
Tait Coles Dixons ITT, Bradford
Jennifer Wates Retired policy analyst
Sarah Earnshaw Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
AbdoolKarim Vakil King’s College London
Haneen al Ghabra University of Denver
Ümit Yıldız Edge Hill University
Saira Weiner Liverpool John Moores University
Maggie Webster Edge Hill University
Karis Campion University of Manchester
Tom Hickey University of Brighton
Anne Mitchell Retired FE deputy principal
Lisa Redlinski College of Arts and Humanities, Brighton
Sam Cutting University of Brighton
Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley The Muslim Faculty of Advanced Studies
Dinah Rahman Imperial College London