Prevent Watch

Leaving the War on Terror: Suggestions for Progressive Alternatives

The war on terror has damaged human rights, the rule of law and allowed governments to escape accountability under ‘national security’. This report offers ideas on how the UK can ‘leave the war on terror’ by suggesting alternatives to counter-terrorism.

Released in September 2019 by the Transnational Institute, it offers an account of the failures of current counter-terrorism policies, an analysis of the reasons why they do not work and an outline of a progressive alternative.

It is primarily directed at the Labour Party and recalls a framework of traditional democratic principles.

The third part of the report, entitled Recommendations, provides new doors into further discussions around societal alternatives to counter-terrorism.

The report starts this discussion by concluding from its earlier sections that UK counter-terrorism policy-making is:

  • failing to reduce “terrorism”,
  • lacking in a plausible evidence base,
  • undermining human rights,
  • fostering Islamophobia, and is
  • unmoored from accountability.

The Recommendations section then proposes a “progressive transformation of policy” taking into account five key principles: democracy, evidence, human rights, community consent and peace.

As a starting point, it states that the Prevent duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 should be repealed and the Prevent policy ended.

You can read the full TNI report HERE.

Related Resources

  • CAGE’s more recent report from January 2020, ‘Beyond Prevent’ may also be considered on this subject.

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