The last two decades have witnessed increases in the number of extremist groups, hate incidents/crimes, and mass attacks that target specific racial, religious, gender minority, or political groups. These attacks have also become more globalized, affecting multiple societies around the world.
In the last decade, growing concerns about extremist violence have led governments to make important efforts and invest significant sums of money in developing programs aimed at preventing and countering violent radicalization and extremism (PVE/CVE). This has been supported by a variety of actors and organizations outside the traditional national security sphere, including the mental health, education, and community sectors. The inclusion of new approaches, strategies, and stakeholders has led to an unprecedented shift in prevention—a field which, until then, was dominated primarily by traditional security approaches and often led by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Despite the efforts and investments, current knowledge regarding best practices in prevention remains disparate, and the effectiveness of practices being used has not yet been clearly established. This means that currently, trillions of dollars are being invested worldwide in programs whose efficacy and possible side effects are unknown.