Governing through prevent? Regulation and contested practice in state–Muslim engagement

Therese O'Toole, Nasar Meer, Daniel Nilsson DeHanas, Stephen Jones, Tariq Modood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
216 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, we consider the implications of the ‘Prevent’ strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy for the UK state’s engagement with Muslims. We argue that the logics of Prevent have been highly problematic for state–Muslim engagement. Nevertheless, we suggest that the characterisation of state approaches to engaging Muslims as a form of discipline is incomplete without an analysis of: first, differences in practices, habits and perspectives across governance domains; second, variations in approach and implementation between levels of governance; and third, the agency of Muslims who engage with the state. Through this approach we show how attention to the situated practices of governance reveals the contested nature of governing through Prevent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-177
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • counter-terrorism
  • Muslims
  • participatory governance
  • Prevent


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