In this modern day and age of evidence-based practices, the question of WHAT WORKS is fundamental to the development of prevention and intervention programs, as well as the implementation of social and legal policies that aim to reduce violent radicalization. Despite the rise of “alternative facts” and narratives based on ideology rather than data, evidence-based practices remain those that have the highest chance of producing positive outcomes while avoiding negative unexpected effects.

The immediate scientific goal of CPN-PREV is to conduct 5 systematic reviews that will identify and support the best available models for assessing the risk of and countering violent radicalization. In doing so, the team aims to bring forward Canadian leadership and develop excellence in countering the phenomenon.

The systematic reviews conducted by CPN-PREV will answer the following key questions:

  • Can exposure to extremist online content lead to violent radicalization, and if so how?
  • What is the relative success of programs that aim to a) prevent violent radicalization among vulnerable populations and b) disengage individuals adhering to violent radical ideas/behaviors? Are there specific intervention modalities associated with a higher chance of success or failure?
  • What are the main trajectories of youth in and out of violent radicalization? What are the most significant markers of positive change or relapse? How can these inform case management? 
  • What are the main tools/procedures that are designed to assess violent radicalization? Are these tools reliable, valid, and useful? Can they lead to harms if used improperly?