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Models of the mind and de-radicalisation

Our understanding of how ‘radicalisation’ works – or indeed what it is, how it affects individuals and group is rooted in a number of assumptions about the mind. Assumptions about vulnerability and resilience, about emotions and behaviour. Which of these assumptions about the mind guide de-radicalisation approaches and how? How can an understanding of these models foster more successful and nuanced initiatives? Our workshop, Brainwashing and hidden persuasion: A workshop on models of the mind and de-radicalisation on December 3 brought together experts from the fields of psychology, psychoanalysis and history and practitioners from the field of counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation to explore the practical politics, intellectual underpinnings, and historical precedents of various contemporary initiatives that are known as ‘de-radicalisation’.

It was a typical Counterpoint encounter: focused on the ‘hidden wiring’ of processes that dominate headlines and policy and need to benefit from critical thinking and unexpected angles.

We will shortly put up a summary of the discussion’s highlights.  And please feel free to get in touch to discuss ideas, projects or policy dilemmas around this theme as this is a growing area of work for us.

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