Deterrence pp 97-114 | Cite as

Deterring Violent Extremism and Terrorism

  • Anastasia FilippidouEmail author
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


There is an ongoing debate among scholars and policy makers regarding the role and utility of deterrence in countering terrorism and violent extremism (Lupovici 2016; Levy 2008; Freedman 1998; Jervis et al. 1991: 211). The chapter focuses on the effectiveness of deterrence on non-state actors and on violent extremism in protracted conflicts. The emphasis on non-state actors highlights additional challenges of deterrence, such as the element of asymmetry, while the protracted aspect emphasises the idea of complexity. For the purposes of this chapter the terms terrorism and violent extremism are used interchangeably in order to avoid the definitional conundrum, owing to the lack of a universally agreed definition of these terms, and also because the two terms reflect better the breadth and depth of deterrence. The gamut of deterrent measures in combination with the numerous types and manifestations of violent extremism, make it very challenging to identify one single case study that can cover all points. Thus the chapter uses the case study of intelligence gathering and extraordinary renditions as a springboard to further examine specific key elements of deterrence that were also partially analysed in chapter “ Deterrence: Concepts and Approaches for Current and Emerging Threats” of this book. Deterrence forms part of a broader policy of countering violent extremism, but the different elements of this policy are interdependent and interlinked. This chapter focuses on the key arguments that pertain particularly to deterrence within the terrorist context and it considers questions such as: How can a state deter but not alienate? In what way can the traditional concept of deterrence be expanded and adapted to deal with current complex realities? How can engagement with non-state actors be best conceived and brought into policy?


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cranfield Forensic InstituteCranfield UniversityUK

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