Local, rather than national actors, are often better positioned to prevent the spread of violent extremism within their communities, including by identifying early signs of radicalization and intervening before it leads to the kind of violence we continue to see far too often in cities around the world. Supporting and sustaining such efforts globally requires, among other things, updating the international architecture for addressing terrorism and violent extremism, which has been focused almost entirely on national governments and driven by their security concerns.
This policy brief highlights how multilateral fora like the United Nations and Global Counterterrorism Forum need to enhance the involvement of community-level actors in their counterterrorism and CVE discussions. More fundamentally, however, the brief calls for developing and supporting a durable sub-national cooperation architecture to facilitate collaboration and networking among the growing numbers of local actors contributing to CVE efforts. It also argues for more space for subnational actors and non-traditional stakeholders within national counterterrorism strategies to ensure inclusive and well-informed CVE approaches are central parts of such frameworks.