Crafting the “Well-Rounded Citizen”: Empowerment and the Government of Counterradicalization

Crafting the “Well-Rounded Citizen”: Empowerment and the Government of Counterradicalization Abstract In recent years, counterradicalization work has come to focus on empowering vulnerable communities and individuals through programs implemented by local governments and welfare services. This article examines this new regime of counterradicalization, focusing on how such programs seek to immunize people allegedly susceptible to radicalization by making them “active citizens.” In contrast to the stated ambitions of these programs and much scholarly work on prevention, we do not see counterradicalization by citizenship empowerment as a way of giving back power to the communities where terrorism emerges. Rather, these programs are set up to manage the self-image and behaviors of individuals perceived as “risky,” which means that they operate by shaping subjects. Undertaking an in-depth analysis of two programs of prevention through empowerment, we outline the rationalities underpinning this new way of countering radicalization, showing how they make use of “citizenship” as a political technology. This article sets out to discuss the relations between citizenship, Foucault's analysis of government and security. It does so by examining the inner workings and logics of programs that seek to prevent violent extremism and radicalization through “empowerment” and “active citizenship,” targeting communities and individuals at risk. Such programs are becoming increasingly important to EU as well as national strategies against violent extremism; their overarching idea is to empower, rather than repress, communities and individuals perceived as “risky.” In contrast, we argue that the inner logic of this strategy of prevention is to shape subjects so that they use their freedom in accordance with the overarching ideals of liberal democracy. This is perceived as a more efficient way of battling radical extremism than surveillance and control. Rather than giving power back to the communities where extremism is thought to emerge, this regime of counterradicalization means that power has transformed to govern the members of these communities in new ways. At the same time, as we shall see, the notion of “active citizenship” advanced by these programs comes with assumptions which, upon closer scrutiny, are far from unproblematic. To start our discussion, some introductory notes on the concept of citizenship are required. A striking and recurring feature of the counterradicalization programs that are being implemented throughout Europe is their overarching ambition to foster “active citizens.” The juxtaposition of citizens and radicalized youngsters is thus a founding presumption of how radicalization is approached. Since T. H. Marshall's (1950) groundbreaking formulation of citizenship as consisting of civil, political, and social rights, this concept has, at least in discussions revolving around societal belonging, commonly denoted the set of rights and duties of all full members of political communities. Thus, for Marshall, and for the literature that has expanded upon his work, citizenship is conceived of as a status. During the last decades of the twentieth century, however, scholars of citizenship started to note a shift in government policies, where ideals of “active citizenship” gained ground. Here, “citizenship” went from being a status one is granted to becoming a set of activities and duties. This in turn meant that ideas of participation and civic engagement came into focus, that emphasis was shifted from rights to obligations, and that the capacity of individuals to fulfill their duties became an important issue in policy debates (see McKinnon and Hampsher-Monk 2000; Hvinden and Johansson 2008; Neveu 2014). In the critical literature on citizenship, this also meant that the unequivocal emancipatory connotations of the concept of “citizenship” sometimes came into question. This was seen in how political theorists such as Ruth Lister (2003), Judith Squires (2000), and Nira Yuval-Davis (2007), approached “citizenship” as having emancipatory potential as well as risks, the latter relating to the exclusion of groups which could not meet the ideals of “active citizenship.” In recent years, the groundbreaking work of Engin Isin (2002, 2009) has repeatedly sought to reconceptualize the basic premises of Marshall's conception of citizenship, challenging us to conceive of citizenship as something that is enacted rather than a status. Furthermore, Isin (2008) critiques policy discourses of “active citizenship,” noting that it merely means following policy scripts formulated and spread from the top-down. In contrast to these accounts, Isin focuses on acts of “activist citizenship”—these acts create their own conditions of possibility and make up their own scripts. Isin's theoretical intervention thus transforms “citizenship” into a fluent concept, used for claims-making and attributed with a transformative potential (Isin and Nyers 2014). As noted by Levy (2014, 27–30), turning away from the citizen to focus our attention on the act of claim-making, leads to an increased emphasis on political subjectivity and, as we shall see in our concluding discussion, especially on those acts with the potential to transform the sphere of citizenship. Despite making a central contribution to citizenship studies, the scholarly work sparked by Isin does not provide sufficient tools to make sense of how discourses of citizenship are used to achieve certain political ends, by shaping people to behave in certain ways (see Turner 2014; Ali 2015). This is precisely what happens in the counterradicalization programs we will go on to examine, where the production of citizens is proposed as a solution to radicalization. In order to make sense of this, we argue that “citizenship” must be approached as a political technology. Thus, in contrast to traditional understandings of citizenship as a central aspect of political equality, and in contrast to Isin's division between emancipatory acts of citizenship and top-down discourses of “active citizenship,” our starting point is that this concept, in the context of terror management, needs to be studied as a way of shaping subjects. Starting from Foucault's (2007) conception of “governmentality” as a technology of governing without interfering, we will show that power is at work not only in state measures of monitoring and restricting individuals but also works productively by shaping how people understand themselves and make use of their freedom. “Citizenship” has become a political technology operating in this way in the context of counterradicalization, where the minds of people perceived to be at risk of becoming radicalized are understood as immunized by self-reliance, independence, and critical thinking, which are all linked to an active and participative citizen-role. This theoretical focus allows us to make two important contributions to current understandings of the relationship between government, citizenship, and security. First, this article marks a theoretical intervention, drawing on Foucault's (2008) notion of governmentality and what he called “the liberal arts of government” to understand how “citizenship” is mobilized to prevent violent extremism. Consider here the dominant concepts of current counterradicalization programs—“empowerment,” “community engagement,” “dialogue,” and “self-policing.” These are commonly understood as breaking with an ideology of “surveillance” and “early detection,” where it is said that we have moved toward a “softer” prevention regime (Meer 2012; Aly 2013; Heath-Kelly 2013). In the critical literature on counterradicalization, a recurring critique of this regime questions the commitment of public authorities to these values, for example by arguing that new and fancy buzzwords mask a prevailing focus on detection and supervision (see Saggar 2009, 397; Briggs 2010; Fieschi and Johnson 2013). Thus, these critics argue, the problem is that we still do not have “genuine” citizenship. Authors are led to this conclusion by their understanding of citizenship and state power as set opposites, where individual rights and participation protects individuals from a vindictive state apparatus. To the contrary, we believe that the very distinction between genuine and spurious versions of citizenship confuses what is going on in common responses to radicalization; the important question is not if the kind of citizenship promoted is good or bad but how it operates. Secondly, we answer this question by examining actual programs where this rationality of government is played out. The management of radicalization by shaping citizens operates through numerous methods and programs that are developed and implemented by a mélange of civil society, public, and private actors, to target what is considered to be communities and groups at risk. In contrast to previous work on this new and “softer” regime of counterradicalization (see Pantazis and Pemberton 2009; Heath-Kelly 2012b; Heath-Kelly 2013; Spalek 2013), our argument is built around an in-depth analysis of two such programs, the Muslimah—Make a Difference and BOUNCE, both of which set out to counter political extremism by creating resilient communities and community members. These two cases allow us to tease out the inner workings of prevention by “empowerment” and “inclusion.” Thus, in contrast to previous critical takes on the topic, our primary focus will not be legislation and state policies but the kind of programs that have become the backbone of current counterradicalization work in Europe and elsewhere. Theoretically, our starting point is provided by the literature on governmentality, which is coupled with previous work on citizenship and counterradicalization. We believe that this article represents one of the first attempts to bring these literatures together. In the concluding reflections, we will revisit the relationship between government, citizenship, and security, discussing how “citizenship as act” and “citizenship as political technology” can together encourage us to approach the politics of counterradicalization in new ways. The New Landscape of Counterradicalization A Changing Regime of Government Before turning to analyze the cases of Muslimah and BOUNCE, we will first set the stage by contextualizing these programs against a background of the general development of counterradicalization and present our theoretical perspective a little further. Countering terrorism has been a central concern of governments, at least since the 1960s. In the aftermath of the 9/11-attacks, however, the question moved to the absolute top of the global political agenda. Early on, the president of the United States declared that these were attacks on “Western democracy” and its inherent values. From the outset, the War on Terror was thus framed as an ideological battle, concerning fundamental and allegedly universal principles. The subsequent attacks in London, June 7, 2004, triggered a slightly different response: since these were executed by an “enemy within,” retaliation and counter measures could not be directed toward a foreign power but had to target the domestic population. Hence, in order to protect society from the “home grown threat,” it became increasingly clear to politicians and experts that it was necessary to focus on the processes that lead individuals to embrace convictions aiming to violently overthrow democracy. The growing focus on the “radicalization process” has led to a number of important shifts concerning the response to the threat of violent extremism: from emphasizing external threats to managing radicalized individuals domestically; from primarily operating via security measures and surveillance to stressing community resilience; and from seeking to identify people at risk of being radicalized to empowering people to become immunized against the lure of radicalization (see Pantazis and Pemberton 2009; Korteweg et al. 2010; Heath-Kelly 2012b; Heath-Kelly 2013; Spalek 2013). Here, the discourse of “active citizenship” has become increasingly central, where an active and integrated member of a community is seen as the opposite of marginalization and detachment from what are seen as the foundational values of democratic societies. Events in the United Kingdom provide an illustrative example of these developments. Thus, the program known as “Prevent” was constructed in the direct aftermath of the London attacks. It constituted one of four strands in the government's counter terrorism strategy CONTEST, designed to respond to what was perceived as a new threat, stemming from both within and outside the United Kingdom's national borders. Prevent constituted the foundation for the overall strategy, guided by an overarching objective to engage “in the battle of ideas—challenging the ideologies that extremists believe can justify the use of violence, primarily by helping Muslims who wish to dispute these ideas to do so” (Home Office 2006, 1–2). In practice, it was a strategy founded on the large scale securitization of civil society, increased surveillance, enhanced police presence in what were labeled “risky communities,” stop and search warrants, and an extension of the minimum period terrorist suspects could be detained without charge (Guru 2010; Ali 2015; Rashid 2016, 13–14). Thus, “the battle of ideas” consisted in targeting and, if necessary, locking up individuals who were prepared to act on the “wrong” ideas. As many critics (see Mythen, Walklate, and Khan 2009; O'Toole, Meer et al. 2015) have noted, these measures did not target the motivations that lead individuals to become radicalized. Rather, it risked increasing the stigmatization of the Muslim population, potentially spawning further tension between ethnic groups (Spalek and Lambert 2008, 261; Kundnani 2009; Thomas 2010, 446; Lakhani 2012, 199, 203; Alam and Husband 2013; Abbas and Awan 2015, 17). Consequently, only three years after Prevent's initial introduction, the strategy was reformulated (Abbas and Awan 2015, 17). The previous focus on security measures, surveillance, and increased police presence was replaced by initiatives geared to hamper social tensions and exclusion by proactively empowering communities and individuals. Similar trends have been present all over Europe (see Bakker and Kessels 2012; Vidino and Brandon 2012; Euer et al. 2014a, 2; RAN 2016). Following the recommendations of numerous scholars and experts, policymakers have come to the conclusion that remedies for political extremism need to target, and ideally emerge from, the “troubled” communities where extremism is believed to arise (see Briggs, Fieschi, and Lownsbrough 2006; Davies 2008; Saggar 2009, 397; Gunaratna 2011; Ali 2015; Bhulai, Peters and Nemr 2016). Thus, what is currently stressed in national strategies, European guidelines, commission reports, and academic research is the necessity of winning the hearts and minds of potential radicals. Crucially, as a consequence of this, new actors are becoming involved in counterterrorism. Although the fight against radicalization to a large extent remains a task for the secret services and police forces, prevention has also become a job of the welfare state, where concepts such as “resilience” and “community engagement” indicate a new way of problematizing the threats of violent extremism. This is not only a question of maintaining security, it is also about creating a society where radicalization will not take hold. Thus, social workers, teachers, and representatives of civil society organizations are today often described as key actors in the fight against terrorism (see DCLG 2008a; Cole, Alison and Cole 2013; Aly, Taylor, and Karnovsky 2014). Considering the trimmed down nature of welfare states, however, there are often a lack of resources and competences that can be used to develop and implement prevention tools. In turn, public welfare offices have made themselves increasingly reliant on externally produced programs and working methods battling radicalization by creating “active citizenship.” This means that we are facing governance systems where the lines between public, private, and civil society, have been considerably blurred; prevention is promoted by national and supranational agencies, and developed by civil society and private actors, whose programs are bought and implemented by local governments and welfare services. The work of the EU's antiradicalization body, RAN, illustrates this. Its primary task is to spread knowledge about efficient counterradicalization, where it formulates advice and provides tools for member states. Its website serves as a shop window for over two hundred programs that local authorities and states are encouraged to use in accordance with their specific needs (see European Commission 2014; RAN 2016). It is our belief that such programs, designed to be implemented by local authorities, constitute the backbone of current counterradicalization. Prevention as Citizen-Making As mentioned in the introductory discussion on “citizenship,” to understand how counterradicalization programs operate, and by extension the current regime of counterradicalization more generally, we believe that it is necessary to approach the relationship between government and citizenship from a different perspective than that commonly seen in the literature on citizenship and the prevention of violent extremism. Much of the literature on citizenship, including more critical works, posits state power and individual citizenship as a dichotomy, where citizenship is understood as a protection of the individual against the powers of the state (see Lister and Jarvis 2013; Davies 2016). This conception has its roots in liberal contract theory; John Locke (1988), for example, made safeguards against an obtrusive state a central component of his notion of the social contract. From this perspective, surveillance, stop and search warrants, and race profiling are interpreted as violations of citizenship, whilst policies stressing citizenship and empowerment are understood as ways of preventing radicalization without such infringements. The theoretical innovation of Foucault was his reconceptualization of the relationship between (state) power and freedom. From a liberal perspective, he posited, power through interference, coercion, or direct steering breaks with the ethos of individual freedom that is central to liberalism. Hence, in order to govern the population, government needs to act on freedom rather than repress it, which gives rise to technologies of rule that operate productively. This is what he called “the liberal arts of government” and “governmentality”; a mode of rule that reaches its objectives by acting on how people act, rather than by force and coercion (see Cruikshank 1999; Rose 1999; Turner 2014). In Foucault's view, power is not only what represses individual freedom but also what shapes how it is understood and applied. In Barbara Cruikshank's (1999) wording, this results in a form of government that operates by making people govern themselves in certain ways (see Levy 2014, 30). Along these lines, several scholars have tried to make sense of the production of citizens, for example through citizenship-tests (Turner 2014) and in the social constitution of ethnical communities (Ali 2015). Understanding these processes in the context of counterradicalization provides an important addition, highlighting the relationship between societal belonging and security, which was already an overt concern for Foucault (2007) in his first explorations of the notion of “governmentality.” Cruikshank (1999) has noted that “citizenship-making” schemes took on a prominent role in welfare policies during the last decades of the twentieth century, designed to combat a number of perceived social problems, such as poverty, welfare dependency, and social unrest. In all of these cases, the problem in question was to be managed by empowering people to become independent and law-abiding citizens—just like in the counterradicalization programs we will go on to examine. Provided a traditional understanding of power as exercised top-down, efforts to make communities stakeholders and partners in the work to prevent radicalization may seem like an equaling out of power relations. Rather, following from the theoretical propositions presented here, we believe that they are geared to craft normative citizens, in the context of counterradicalization, building on the idea that the most efficient way of stopping violent extremism is to shape people so that they become naturally tolerant, liberal, and included. This is to say that we fool ourselves when believing that state power diminishes as counterradicalization work refocuses attention from restraints and supervision toward “citizenship” and “empowerment.” To the contrary, it is vital to understand how power is exercised through such programs. The lack of scholarly work on counterradicalization building on this part of Foucault's oeuvre is surprising. Foucault has been widely referred to in the literature on state responses to terrorism; however, previous studies have tended to focus on his work on surveillance and discipline (Foucault 1991; Mythen and Walklate 2005; Aggarwal 2013; MacDonald and Hunter 2013). We believe that recent developments in counterradicalization work are better understood with a governmentality-perspective (see Rose 1999; Dean 2009). A notable exception to this selective reading of Foucault can be found in the work of Charlotte Heath-Kelly, who has argued that present counterterrorism measures are not primarily concerned with “deducting” certain things from the individual, such as “wealth, bodily integrity or even life” (Heath-Kelly 2012a, 72), but with producing subjectivity. In her genealogical explorations of counterterrorism policies, she urges us to consider how counterradicalization work has come to target the desires and beliefs of individuals thought of as susceptible to radicalization (Heath-Kelly 2012a, 72). Central to this is the notion of “risk” and how it has been integrated into contemporary biopolitics (see Beck 1992; Mythen and Walklate 2005; Heath-Kelly 2012a; Elshimi 2015, 120). Similar ideas on what constitutes “risk” of radicalization underpin the programs that we are looking at and concern which groups should be targeted. However, the literature examining the social constitution of “risk” tends to sidestep the concurrent constitution of citizenship through methods and programs of empowerment and inclusion. Against this backdrop, there is a need to understand how programs of counterradicalization are crafting citizen-subjects. This will be the principle task of our empirical analysis, below. Two Programs Manufacturing Citizens The Muslimah—Make a Difference Our first case, the “Muslimah—Make a Difference” project, started in 2007. It was developed by the consultancy firm Faith Association and funded by the Pathfinder Fund. The program was carried out during a one-year period in High Wycombe, a city some fifty kilometers north west of London. It targeted Muslim women who, after counterterrorism raids in the area in August 2006, had expressed a desire to become more involved in civil society but felt that they “lacked the skills, experience and confidence to participate in this agenda” (DCLG 2008b, 46). Thus, the overarching goal of Muslimah was to empower women to take a more active role as leaders and “role models” in their families, local communities, and society as a whole. The focus on Muslim women in the program reflects a more general sentiment among actors seeking to prevent radicalization among Muslim youth in the UK. For example, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) states that “Muslim women . . . represent an untapped potential in the part they can play in preventing violent extremism” (DCLG 2008b, 6) and suggests that “resilient communities cannot be built and sustained without their active participation” (DCLG 2008b, 41). In hindsight, Muslimah has been described as a success and an example of best practice in how the empowerment of women can be utilized in counterterrorism work. (The Audit Commission 2008, 38; DCLG 2008b, 41–47; Dyke and James 2009, 38; Buckinghamshire Children and People's Trust 2010, 8; Faith in Community Scotland 2011, 42). Like similar counterradicalization programs, Muslimah argues that capacities for change rest within each individual, evidenced by the slogan “Inspiring Change from Within.” Hence, the mission of the program was to mobilize this potential, with workshops designed to empower participants to realize the benefits of activation in the community and the parallel risks of inactivity. The stated aim of Muslimah reads: The Muslimah—Make a Difference is a unique programme aimed at increasing the knowledge of Muslim women and girls of their Islamic history in the context of their rights, duties and roles as well as to increase their knowledge of the current status of Muslims in the United Kingdom and to bring about a desire for positive change through active participation and becoming active citizens in their communities and wider society. It is a fundamental principle that any positive change within a community is led by courageous and ethical leadership and there is a consensus amongst Muslims in so far as Muslim women are concerned, there is a vacuum in this area that must be filled. (Faith Associates 2008, 4) In this way, active participation and active citizenship are vehicles of positive change regarding the situation of Muslims in the UK and are tools to prevent radicalization. The problem is, as stated in the last sentence of the quote, that Muslim women have not embraced this role to a sufficient degree, wherefore the aim of the program is to activate participants. The more specified roles and duties that participating women are encouraged to assume can thus be seen as substantiating what “citizenship” means in the context of Muslimah. The logic behind empowerment and self-help programs is that people cannot be forced to better their situation; such efforts will only result in paternalistic measures spurring tensions with targeted groups. Rather, programs need to pinpoint the desires and inner motivations of participants so that they become inclined to help themselves (Cruikshank 1999, 49). This largely follows from Foucault's (2007, 2008) understanding of the liberal arts of government, where the challenge is to govern without interfering by linking together the will of the individual with the overarching objectives of government. In other words, Muslimah is designed to make Muslim women realize that they have an interest in taking on an active and engaged role in their local communities, which in turn is projected to serve the societal goal of preventing radicalization. In this way, Muslimah seeks to act upon participants in ways that make them behave in accordance with what the program considers to be their own best interests. This is largely done by incorporating ideals of engagement and civic responsibility into an ideal “Muslim womanhood.” As shown by the extract from the program description quoted above, the first order of business is to establish that the participants, being Muslim and women, share an identity that is attached to a moral obligation to empower oneself—not because of one's individual disposition but as a consequence of one's group belonging. In this way, the conception of what being a Muslim woman implies is the foundation of Muslimah. This construction of Muslim womanhood is of course distinctively similar to classic liberal ideals of citizenship as independence and participation in public life. However, it is nevertheless the identity attachments of participants to their religious group that are put to work to instill a sense of citizenship duty. Since participants of the program already belong to this group, furthermore, this ideal is ready to be activated and infused into their behavior. A central tool linking Muslim identity with citizenship is the frequent use of “role-models.” The program material states that the content of the program “was faith focused to demonstrate the importance placed by Islam on being positive and active role models” (Faith Associates 2008, 11) and that “drawing upon faith and heritage, historical role models can inspire and empower Muslim women to make a difference” (DCLG 2008b, 47). In this way, role-models both showcase successful Muslim women who have played an active role in their local communities and serve as aspirational examples for participants. Furthermore, this is frequently linked to Muslim faith and theology, offering participants an interpretation of Islam where the “good Muslim” exerts influence by leading by example. In this way, the presentation of the skills and characteristics of role-models conveys a tangible example of what outcomes the program projects; participants should be active whilst still undertaking their duties in the home; they should be socially engaged yet good mothers; and they should be aware of what their children and Muslim youth are up to. This is what citizenship means in the context of this program. Now, if Muslim women have an inner drive to function as active citizens and if this role is, in addition, a vital dimension of their religion, one wonders why the targets of Muslimah are not already actively participating in their communities. In this regard, the program posits that the main problem is that Muslim women lack knowledge: Many of the participants were unaware of the many great Muslim women role models that existed historically and in contemporary society and were surprised to learn of the numbers and their achievements in the fields of education, science, politics, war, family and society. Many of the participants were able to identify some of the key attributes of positive role models. (Faith Associates 2008, 11) As a response to this lack, participants are encouraged to construct in their own image a model for the role they wish to play in their communities, where the program states that it seeks to achieve “[a] realisation of the duties placed on each individual man and women as Muslims to be proactive and positive role models in every sphere of life” (Faith Associates 2008, 12). Following this template, a participant in one of Muslimah's workshop evaluations stated that the main benefit of the program had been “learning about the lack of knowledge of our religion and learning about Islamic role models” (Faith Associates 2008, 13). Significantly, the participant did not express that she had learned about her religion but rather about her own lack of knowledge. Thus, in parallel to Cruikshank's analysis of citizenship empowerment, these lapses of knowledge can only be filled by individual development and activation; the role of Muslimah is to help by making Muslim women help themselves. The required knowledge, furthermore, not only pertains to how individuals can act as role-models but also to the current, dire socioeconomic situation of Muslims in general. Participants were generally not aware of the current situation of Muslims in terms of socio-economic achievements, academically and in terms of prison population/war on terror and many were shocked by the actual facts and statistics presented to them. Information presented included facts around the economic situation of Muslims. (Faith Associates 2008, 7) Knowledge about the situation of Muslims in the United Kingdom is here regarded as an instigator of change. Once participants are made aware of the hardships of their community, which they have supposedly previously neglected, they will connect with their Muslim identity and become more active in their local communities. In general, Muslimah fits well with Cruikshank's (1999) analysis of “citizenship empowerment,” exposing apt parallels to the theoretical propositions of Rose (1999) and Bacchi (2009). First, Muslimah is centered on a political “problematization,” as Bacchi (2009, 39–44) calls it, of radical extremism among Muslim youth, which in turn is linked to a certain government response, here in the form of Muslim women becoming active citizens. This linkage can be made because the targeted groups are constructed as lacking knowledge of their citizenship duties. In Muslimah, this is continuously described as a neglected religious obligation. The functioning of the program, then, is to answer this lack by mobilizing the inner drive of targets to reshape themselves into “active citizens.” Furthermore, in line with Foucault's take on the liberal arts of government, since active citizenship is perceived as an inner desire of these individuals, the state does not need to restrict their freedom but rather to mobilize it. At the same time, since the ideals of active citizenship and the role-models were present from the outset, participants were not asked to explore or reflect upon what constitutes a good life but merely to discover it, via the careful guidance of trainers showcasing examples of great Muslim women. As indicated by Isin (2008) in his discussion about the distinction between rule-abiding “active citizens” and the transformative enactments of “activist citizens,” the citizenship constructed here becomes a choice between preset alternatives, rather than questioning the wider playing field as such. In addition to this, the program material stresses a number of hardships that may hamper the possibility of becoming active citizens. For example, it is often noted that it may be hard for participants to find the time and energy to engage actively in their communities, not least because of the duties associated with serving their families. This issue is addressed in the materials by stressing life-management skills and the inspirational examples set by the role-models. In this way, one report of a Muslimah workshop states that “there was a growing understanding [among the participants] that in order to contribute one had to be much more constructive with the use of time, activities planned and social life” (Faith Associates 2008, 12). Activation and empowerment cannot be reached without sacrifices and changes to current lifestyles. This is also frequently highlighted in the explorations of the role models, who successfully manage to juggle family and public life by putting time and energy to more efficient use. In one workshop report, a participant states that the main teaching for her was: “I have learnt that I can make so much more difference than I thought regardless of any personal and social circumstances” (Faith Associates 2008, 13). The fact that this quote is singled out and highlighted is significant, shedding light on the basic premise of “empowerment” as analyzed by Cruikshank; the seeds of change reside within each of us. Social circumstances are therefore not to be changed but overcome by the willpower of the individual. Bounce Our second case, The BOUNCE tool-kit, was first presented in Brussels in December 2014. The program is a spin-off of the EU-funded Stresaviora project, which sought to develop prevention tools built on trust and positivity and is currently planned to be implemented in five different EU-countries and ten cities (bounce-resilience-tools.eu). The bedrock of BOUNCE is a series of ten training sessions, where trainers guide young people through group discussions and exercises geared to encourage participants to take a positive and confident approach to whatever hardships they encounter. While the shared identity of the targeted group is central in “Muslimah,” BOUNCE is individualistic and general in its basic approach, reaching out to all young people, regardless of ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic background, or political views. Just as Muslimah has the role-model Muslim woman, BOUNCE seeks to foster “the resilient person” (BOUNCE 2014b, 48)—a “conceptual figure” used to visualize BOUNCE's vision of active citizenship. “Resilience” is here defined as the ability to “bounce back” when facing challenging situations. In the Stresavioara project, the relationship between prevention and citizenship is expressed as follows: A society should support youngsters to be rooted in their life, but this should be in the direction of democratic citizenship. This implicitly means that there should be a belief in the potential power of preventive effort to increase the already present sources of power in youngster's life, to prevent from involvement in violent radicalization. (Euer et al. 2014b, 21) Just as in Muslimah, and Cruikshank's analysis of citizenship empowerment, the resources and motivation to become an active citizen are seen as residing within the individual. As is hinted at in the quote, bringing about the person that “bounces back” involves taking a positive approach to young people and their motivations (BOUNCE 2014a, 6). This ethos of positivity characterizes all BOUNCE manuals and is frequently returned to, appearing as absolutely central to the program. Thus, if young persons are approached with positive and nonjudgmental attitudes, with affirmation rather than questioning, they will emerge as resilient, active, and critical citizens. This places considerable demands on the trainers, who are encouraged to apply a positive approach to whatever participants express: [a] positive perspective that people's actions, choices, and behavior of people [sic!] have a positive core, backed by a positive wish. This makes it possible to reframe negative perspectives to positive ones. For the topic “violent radicalization,” we can choose for example, to reframe this using the less judgmental terms “strong ideals,” “strong opinions,” or “extreme ideals.” Having “strong opinions” or “extreme ideals” doesn't need to be negative. (BOUNCE 2014a, 9) This idea of how resilience is achieved is founded in the Stresaviora research report. Corresponding with the methods of BOUNCE, the text argues that any meaning or concept can be reconceptualized into a positive one: “[b]y positively appreciating the young ‘radical’ as a person who is in search of citizenship, the youngster is enabled to develop his or her ideals in a positive way” (Euer et al. 2014a, 9). In this way, citizenship is framed as a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the designation of young radicalized people as searching for active citizenship will enable such persons to become citizens. By using the positive approach to reframe motivations and desires, “youths (with a passion for certain topics or ideologies) can develop into critical, aware civilians who can participate in and contribute to democracy” (Euer et al. 2014a, 35). The underlying idea here is not that problems should be denied but that they should be approached as wishes for something else, that is, as wishes for active citizenship as understood within the program. Just as Foucault described liberal rule as governing without interfering, BOUNCE seeks to recreate the attitudes and intentions of the subject by mobilizing their personal resources—not by coercion or repression but by positive images of the future, which are seen as central to achieve behavioral changes (BOUNCE 2014a, 48). As is outlined in the report of the Stresaviora project, this might, for example, entail encouraging radical youngsters to switch terminology in search for positive words that can replace negative ones, which in turn will change the world views of participants and their behavior. It should be noted that this positive approach is not merely about seeing things from a more optimistic perspective but about actually recreating social reality. As stated in the Stresaviora project report: “[t]he way people talk about reality, construct reality: words become worlds” (Euer et al. 2014a, 37–38). According to this text, there is no external reality governing how we choose to approach ourselves and our surroundings. This has rather drastic consequences, for example that “[r]elative deprivation is a form of (perceived) discrimination, which results from comparing oneself (or one's group) with others” (Euer et al. 2014a, 7). “Relative deprivation” is described as one of the main root causes of radicalization, which the program, by positive communication and encouragement, proposes to transform into something positive, activating, and empowering. The actual tool to achieve this is the communication method of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), which is described in the quote below: Based on the premise that there is a direct and simultaneous link between the way we speak about our reality and the way we construct our reality . . . appreciative inquiry distinguishes itself by posing positive questions that direct our focus to the vital life-giving forces that nourish our best and most valued models of organizing micro and macro human systems. (Euer et al. 2014a, 36, italics in original quote) Hence, injustices, deprivation, and discrimination are but mental perceptions, stemming from a negative outlook. Therefore, they can be altered by the processes initiated by AI. The governmental technology of BOUNCE is to urge potential radicals to “think positive” about whatever it is that arrests them and to urge project trainers to think about these youngsters as people in search of “active citizenship” (Euer et al 2014a, 36). This suggests a social reality where no societal or structural causes need to change in order to combat grievances and discrimination: “people are able to (re)create reality through cooperation between the imagination and the reasoning function of the mind. Reality is ‘makeable’ instead of determined” (Euer et al. 2014a, 38). In parallel to how Muslimah constructed its target groups as lacking knowledge, thereby individualizing the problem and solutions of radicalization, BOUNCE constructs radicalized youngsters as lacking the proper positive attitudes that nurture active citizenship. By this theoretical maneuver, every other political measure—for example seeking to battle discrimination, poverty, or segregation as social phenomena—becomes superfluous. Thus, while Muslimah seeks to produce good and active citizens by linking empowerment to religious faith, BOUNCE seeks to produce the resilient individual by a radical attitude of positivity. The overarching purpose is to craft a certain kind of subject that is thought of as immune to radicalization, since they have been vaccinated by the positive approach. This is made explicit in the following quote: An early preventative approach also means we are targeting young people and the environment of young people who are developing their identity and are open to all kinds of influences. This development of an identity is very active in the period of puberty and early adolescence (but of course continues through the further life). The openness to influence also means it is possible to make a difference and prevent young people from becoming involved in a process of violent radicalization. (Euer et al. 2014a, 11) In effect, the focus on the inner life of the individual, on their motivations and attitudes, means that BOUNCE essentially conceptualizes radicalization as a character flaw. And in this way, the program's approach to radicalization presents itself as emblematic of the individualism many see as a defining characteristic of late-modern societies; by making social grievances and inequality a feature of the psyche, we move from having a social problem to having an individual problem, in turn leading to individual solutions targeting the attitudes of the radicalized. At certain points, BOUNCE appears to come straight off the self-help bookshelf, for example when “dreaming about the future” is made possible by letting participants write their perfect future on a piece of wood. However, with regards to the constructivist approach guiding BOUNCE, this type of exercise should not be dismissed as merely fluffy nonsense. This is an expression of BOUNCE's crude “constructivist” understanding, where dreams about the future are believed to have a direct effect on states of mind, choices, and actions: “positive images and discourses of the future lead to positive actions. Our behavior and actions are strongly inspired by the projected future” (Euer et al. 2014a, 38). Hence, the exercises conducted in BOUNCE are not arbitrary but part of a scheme developed to promote a specific type of positive thinking, which involves the “dream” of becoming a well-functioning, democratic citizen (BOUNCE 2014b, 148). Indeed, during the very last session of the BOUNCE training program, when participants are expected to have attained the positive attitudes and skills required to reach their dream of a perfect future, they are assigned to break the piece of wood. In order to accomplish this, the participants are asked to utilize all the skills learnt during the previous sessions, including the use of physical, social, and mental resilience, along with self-awareness and confidence. When ready and confident “the participant punches the piece of wood in two with a strong, short and controlled punch, combined with breaking out” (BOUNCE 2014b, 153). As BOUNCE seeks to produce self-reliant citizens, this symbolic ritual marks citizenship as an achievement of breaking free from negative attitudes and uncritical thinking. Crafting the Well-Rounded Citizen What can these two cases teach us about the rationalities underpinning present counterradicalization programs? In addition to the functioning of the programs detailed above, we believe that a central aspect of how “active citizenship” is made a solution to radicalization is that these programs depoliticize radicalization and violent extremism. First, in the sense that they lay the burden for solving the problem on local communities and people at risk of being radicalized, the focus on empowerment and individual responsibility means that government operates by effacing its own role and dressing it up as the “self-government” and “active citizenship” of targeted groups. Second, the programs depoliticize in the sense that both social problems and extremist ideologies are made beside the point. In BOUNCE, social problems shall be met with positive thinking on the part of marginalized groups. In Muslimah, the ideology of radical and violent Islam shall be replaced by information about how this religion, “in actual fact,” is about being an active and engaged role-model who rejects violence. In both cases, the respective solutions suspend critical thinking; people are not supposed to understand and critically reflect on ideas or their own situation but to think positively or buy into the ideals of the programs. Third, by making the causes of radicalization individual shortcomings, redistribution of power or social recognition are effectively replaced by changes of mindsets. For all of the conflicting ideas, interpretations, and power relations that are involved, both in the causes of and responses to radicalization, programs of citizenship empowerment essentially work by slating over such conflicts, stressing the presumed desire of targeted groups to become “active citizens” as all-embracing and universal values. In this sense, our account of the current regime of counterradicalization differs from previous critiques. First, it differs in the sense that we do not see the ideology of citizenship as innocent. Rather than asking what citizenship should be or exposing its interpretation within these programs as mere hoaxes, we have focused on which problems “active citizenship” is proposed as a solution to and how this implies certain constructions of targeted subjects and requires certain tools, provided by the programs and geared to change the attitudes and behavior of targeted groups. More specifically, we also differ from critiques of the often-farcical methods that are used in preventative work. Heath-Kelly (2013, 404), for example, rhetorically asks why the UK government should fund young Muslims playing cricket in order to counter radicalization, convincingly showing that this is entangled with how “risky” individuals are constituted as objects of knowledge. Although we agree with her theorization, we also see a certain danger in focusing too much on the opaque and seemingly ridiculous nature of some counterradicalization measures. When such methods—whether they be playing cricket, breaking pieces of wood, or reading up about female Muslim role-models—are analyzed in detail together with the rest of the materials of the programs they are part of, we are able to see how they are expressions of underlying rationalities of counterradicalization. In other words, rather than merely stating the absurdity of breaking a piece of wood, critical empirical encounters with counterradicalization programs need to uncover the political stakes that such examples are expressions of. Concluding Reflections Our overall conclusion is that programs like Muslimah and BOUNCE need to be analyzed as instances of power that operate by creating citizen-subjects who are shaped to behave and relate to their societies in certain prescribed ways. These propositions provide an opportunity to advance a more general theoretical discussion revolving around the relationship between citizenship, government, and security, especially as related to the effects of depoliticization that we discussed above; how might it be possible to repoliticize counterradicalization? To start with, it is useful to remind ourselves of the purpose and contribution of our theoretical intervention. As mentioned in the introduction, previous scholarly critiques of “active citizenship” in the context of counterradicalization have argued that these are just ways of masking a prevailing focus on “risky” communities and individuals. Underpinning these critiques is a distinction between “good” and “bad” versions of citizenship, where the overarching ambition is to promote the former. This also holds for the literature on citizenship and security more generally. Consider for example Guillaume and Huysman's (2013) edited volume. The chapters of this book are primarily preoccupied with two distinct ways in which citizenship and securitization interplay. The first regards how citizenship, in both a formal and a substantial sense, is being withdrawn from certain people, such as Muslims in Switzerland, sex workers in the EU, and so on. These groups are deprived of rights that other parts of the population are entitled to, justified by references to “security,” which means that their citizenship is curtailed (see Gianni 2013, 218–20). Secondly, another set of chapters discuss how disruptive events can spark new venues and expressions of citizenship, which ultimately may help us reformulate our understanding of community belonging. In other words, disruptive events may give rise to increased repression but also to more constructive developments. As the sole grounds of critical engagement with the politics of counterradicalization, we believe that this structure of reasoning is insufficient since it falls prey to what Foucault (in Tremain 2005, 9) understood as a juridico-political notion of power, which equates “government” with “suppression” and restraint, whilst neglecting how power also works productively, by inciting, molding, and valuing subjects. This theoretical entrapment hampers our appreciation of what is going on in programs such as Muslimah and BOUNCE. Furthermore, it also reinforces the depoliticization of the current regime of counterradicalization. When we exclusively direct our critical sensibilities toward the repressive powers of surveillance, coercion, and control, we miss how the government of counterradicalization also has come to operate in other ways, which all too easily escape critique and contestation. The general theoretical perspective of this article can thus work to counter depoliticization by expanding our understanding of how and where power operates. On the other hand, although important to help us see that allegedly universal ideals of “active citizenship” are far from innocent and unpolitical, the literature on governmentality has less to say about change, contestation, and resistance. This gives rise to the pertinent question: once we have acknowledged the operations of power, how about the possibilities of countering it? The focus on how subjects are constituted means that scholars working in the Foucauldian tradition have neglected this question. In this regard, Isin's understanding of “acts of citizenship” may prove useful. He formulates the distinction between active and activist citizens as follows: While activist citizens engage in writing scripts and creating the scene, active citizens follow scripts and participate in scenes that are already created. While activist citizens are creative, active citizens are not. (Isin 2008, 38) Whilst the governmentality literature in this article has been used to make sense of the manufacturing of what Isin calls “active citizens,” his notion of the activist citizen may help us refigure actions that point toward instances and actions that may open up opportunities for political belonging to be something altogether different. Akin to Hannah Arendt's (1994) understanding of politics, Isin believes in agency and the capacity of political action to constitute identity. Indeed, “citizenship” is an inherently bounded concept—tied up with the liberal history of political philosophy, territorial nation states, and norms about proper conduct. The acts that Isin focuses attention on are those that shake and move these boundaries. Although Isin and other scholars who devote their analytical attention to actions that shift the boundaries of citizenship cannot help us understand how this concept operates as a political technology, they surely can be used to criticize the implicit idea of the current regime of counterradicalization that ideals of “active citizenship” should be imposed on certain groups from the top down. Provided Isin's perspective, the problem of the programs that we have examined is that their implicit idea of a well-functioning polity, characterized by consensus formed around fundamental values and harmonious coexistence, is devoid of actual politics (see Honig 1993), in Arendt's (1994) sense of the word; it is freed from challenges, from actions that breaks with the script and which may transform citizenship into something else. Hence, whilst previous work on counterradicalization has either sought to advance “genuine” citizenship or tried to reveal that the ideals of current counterradicalization consist of little more than window-dressing, we suggest that critical approaches to counterradicalization need to ask a new set of questions that emerge from the tension between Foucault's understanding of government and Isin and Arendt's focus on actions that reconstitute the political playing field as such. In the context of counterterrorism and securitization, this suggests a theoretical approach both seeking to understand how citizenship is made a solution of security concerns and analyzing how the discursive framing of “citizenship” and “security” can be disrupted by acts that unsettle taken-for-granted presumptions regarding their relationship. 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Crafting the “Well-Rounded Citizen”: Empowerment and the Government of Counterradicalization

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Abstract

Abstract In recent years, counterradicalization work has come to focus on empowering vulnerable communities and individuals through programs implemented by local governments and welfare services. This article examines this new regime of counterradicalization, focusing on how such programs seek to immunize people allegedly susceptible to radicalization by making them “active citizens.” In contrast to the stated ambitions of these programs and much scholarly work on prevention, we do not see counterradicalization by citizenship empowerment as a way of giving back power to the communities where terrorism emerges. Rather, these programs are set up to manage the self-image and behaviors of individuals perceived as “risky,” which means that they operate by shaping subjects. Undertaking an in-depth analysis of two programs of prevention through empowerment, we outline the rationalities underpinning this new way of countering radicalization, showing how they make use of “citizenship” as a political technology. This article sets out to discuss the relations between citizenship, Foucault's analysis of government and security. It does so by examining the inner workings and logics of programs that seek to prevent violent extremism and radicalization through “empowerment” and “active citizenship,” targeting communities and individuals at risk. Such programs are becoming increasingly important to EU as well as national strategies against violent extremism; their overarching idea is to empower, rather than repress, communities and individuals perceived as “risky.” In contrast, we argue that the inner logic of this strategy of prevention is to shape subjects so that they use their freedom in accordance with the overarching ideals of liberal democracy. This is perceived as a more efficient way of battling radical extremism than surveillance and control. Rather than giving power back to the communities where extremism is thought to emerge, this regime of counterradicalization means that power has transformed to govern the members of these communities in new ways. At the same time, as we shall see, the notion of “active citizenship” advanced by these programs comes with assumptions which, upon closer scrutiny, are far from unproblematic. To start our discussion, some introductory notes on the concept of citizenship are required. A striking and recurring feature of the counterradicalization programs that are being implemented throughout Europe is their overarching ambition to foster “active citizens.” The juxtaposition of citizens and radicalized youngsters is thus a founding presumption of how radicalization is approached. Since T. H. Marshall's (1950) groundbreaking formulation of citizenship as consisting of civil, political, and social rights, this concept has, at least in discussions revolving around societal belonging, commonly denoted the set of rights and duties of all full members of political communities. Thus, for Marshall, and for the literature that has expanded upon his work, citizenship is conceived of as a status. During the last decades of the twentieth century, however, scholars of citizenship started to note a shift in government policies, where ideals of “active citizenship” gained ground. Here, “citizenship” went from being a status one is granted to becoming a set of activities and duties. This in turn meant that ideas of participation and civic engagement came into focus, that emphasis was shifted from rights to obligations, and that the capacity of individuals to fulfill their duties became an important issue in policy debates (see McKinnon and Hampsher-Monk 2000; Hvinden and Johansson 2008; Neveu 2014). In the critical literature on citizenship, this also meant that the unequivocal emancipatory connotations of the concept of “citizenship” sometimes came into question. This was seen in how political theorists such as Ruth Lister (2003), Judith Squires (2000), and Nira Yuval-Davis (2007), approached “citizenship” as having emancipatory potential as well as risks, the latter relating to the exclusion of groups which could not meet the ideals of “active citizenship.” In recent years, the groundbreaking work of Engin Isin (2002, 2009) has repeatedly sought to reconceptualize the basic premises of Marshall's conception of citizenship, challenging us to conceive of citizenship as something that is enacted rather than a status. Furthermore, Isin (2008) critiques policy discourses of “active citizenship,” noting that it merely means following policy scripts formulated and spread from the top-down. In contrast to these accounts, Isin focuses on acts of “activist citizenship”—these acts create their own conditions of possibility and make up their own scripts. Isin's theoretical intervention thus transforms “citizenship” into a fluent concept, used for claims-making and attributed with a transformative potential (Isin and Nyers 2014). As noted by Levy (2014, 27–30), turning away from the citizen to focus our attention on the act of claim-making, leads to an increased emphasis on political subjectivity and, as we shall see in our concluding discussion, especially on those acts with the potential to transform the sphere of citizenship. Despite making a central contribution to citizenship studies, the scholarly work sparked by Isin does not provide sufficient tools to make sense of how discourses of citizenship are used to achieve certain political ends, by shaping people to behave in certain ways (see Turner 2014; Ali 2015). This is precisely what happens in the counterradicalization programs we will go on to examine, where the production of citizens is proposed as a solution to radicalization. In order to make sense of this, we argue that “citizenship” must be approached as a political technology. Thus, in contrast to traditional understandings of citizenship as a central aspect of political equality, and in contrast to Isin's division between emancipatory acts of citizenship and top-down discourses of “active citizenship,” our starting point is that this concept, in the context of terror management, needs to be studied as a way of shaping subjects. Starting from Foucault's (2007) conception of “governmentality” as a technology of governing without interfering, we will show that power is at work not only in state measures of monitoring and restricting individuals but also works productively by shaping how people understand themselves and make use of their freedom. “Citizenship” has become a political technology operating in this way in the context of counterradicalization, where the minds of people perceived to be at risk of becoming radicalized are understood as immunized by self-reliance, independence, and critical thinking, which are all linked to an active and participative citizen-role. This theoretical focus allows us to make two important contributions to current understandings of the relationship between government, citizenship, and security. First, this article marks a theoretical intervention, drawing on Foucault's (2008) notion of governmentality and what he called “the liberal arts of government” to understand how “citizenship” is mobilized to prevent violent extremism. Consider here the dominant concepts of current counterradicalization programs—“empowerment,” “community engagement,” “dialogue,” and “self-policing.” These are commonly understood as breaking with an ideology of “surveillance” and “early detection,” where it is said that we have moved toward a “softer” prevention regime (Meer 2012; Aly 2013; Heath-Kelly 2013). In the critical literature on counterradicalization, a recurring critique of this regime questions the commitment of public authorities to these values, for example by arguing that new and fancy buzzwords mask a prevailing focus on detection and supervision (see Saggar 2009, 397; Briggs 2010; Fieschi and Johnson 2013). Thus, these critics argue, the problem is that we still do not have “genuine” citizenship. Authors are led to this conclusion by their understanding of citizenship and state power as set opposites, where individual rights and participation protects individuals from a vindictive state apparatus. To the contrary, we believe that the very distinction between genuine and spurious versions of citizenship confuses what is going on in common responses to radicalization; the important question is not if the kind of citizenship promoted is good or bad but how it operates. Secondly, we answer this question by examining actual programs where this rationality of government is played out. The management of radicalization by shaping citizens operates through numerous methods and programs that are developed and implemented by a mélange of civil society, public, and private actors, to target what is considered to be communities and groups at risk. In contrast to previous work on this new and “softer” regime of counterradicalization (see Pantazis and Pemberton 2009; Heath-Kelly 2012b; Heath-Kelly 2013; Spalek 2013), our argument is built around an in-depth analysis of two such programs, the Muslimah—Make a Difference and BOUNCE, both of which set out to counter political extremism by creating resilient communities and community members. These two cases allow us to tease out the inner workings of prevention by “empowerment” and “inclusion.” Thus, in contrast to previous critical takes on the topic, our primary focus will not be legislation and state policies but the kind of programs that have become the backbone of current counterradicalization work in Europe and elsewhere. Theoretically, our starting point is provided by the literature on governmentality, which is coupled with previous work on citizenship and counterradicalization. We believe that this article represents one of the first attempts to bring these literatures together. In the concluding reflections, we will revisit the relationship between government, citizenship, and security, discussing how “citizenship as act” and “citizenship as political technology” can together encourage us to approach the politics of counterradicalization in new ways. The New Landscape of Counterradicalization A Changing Regime of Government Before turning to analyze the cases of Muslimah and BOUNCE, we will first set the stage by contextualizing these programs against a background of the general development of counterradicalization and present our theoretical perspective a little further. Countering terrorism has been a central concern of governments, at least since the 1960s. In the aftermath of the 9/11-attacks, however, the question moved to the absolute top of the global political agenda. Early on, the president of the United States declared that these were attacks on “Western democracy” and its inherent values. From the outset, the War on Terror was thus framed as an ideological battle, concerning fundamental and allegedly universal principles. The subsequent attacks in London, June 7, 2004, triggered a slightly different response: since these were executed by an “enemy within,” retaliation and counter measures could not be directed toward a foreign power but had to target the domestic population. Hence, in order to protect society from the “home grown threat,” it became increasingly clear to politicians and experts that it was necessary to focus on the processes that lead individuals to embrace convictions aiming to violently overthrow democracy. The growing focus on the “radicalization process” has led to a number of important shifts concerning the response to the threat of violent extremism: from emphasizing external threats to managing radicalized individuals domestically; from primarily operating via security measures and surveillance to stressing community resilience; and from seeking to identify people at risk of being radicalized to empowering people to become immunized against the lure of radicalization (see Pantazis and Pemberton 2009; Korteweg et al. 2010; Heath-Kelly 2012b; Heath-Kelly 2013; Spalek 2013). Here, the discourse of “active citizenship” has become increasingly central, where an active and integrated member of a community is seen as the opposite of marginalization and detachment from what are seen as the foundational values of democratic societies. Events in the United Kingdom provide an illustrative example of these developments. Thus, the program known as “Prevent” was constructed in the direct aftermath of the London attacks. It constituted one of four strands in the government's counter terrorism strategy CONTEST, designed to respond to what was perceived as a new threat, stemming from both within and outside the United Kingdom's national borders. Prevent constituted the foundation for the overall strategy, guided by an overarching objective to engage “in the battle of ideas—challenging the ideologies that extremists believe can justify the use of violence, primarily by helping Muslims who wish to dispute these ideas to do so” (Home Office 2006, 1–2). In practice, it was a strategy founded on the large scale securitization of civil society, increased surveillance, enhanced police presence in what were labeled “risky communities,” stop and search warrants, and an extension of the minimum period terrorist suspects could be detained without charge (Guru 2010; Ali 2015; Rashid 2016, 13–14). Thus, “the battle of ideas” consisted in targeting and, if necessary, locking up individuals who were prepared to act on the “wrong” ideas. As many critics (see Mythen, Walklate, and Khan 2009; O'Toole, Meer et al. 2015) have noted, these measures did not target the motivations that lead individuals to become radicalized. Rather, it risked increasing the stigmatization of the Muslim population, potentially spawning further tension between ethnic groups (Spalek and Lambert 2008, 261; Kundnani 2009; Thomas 2010, 446; Lakhani 2012, 199, 203; Alam and Husband 2013; Abbas and Awan 2015, 17). Consequently, only three years after Prevent's initial introduction, the strategy was reformulated (Abbas and Awan 2015, 17). The previous focus on security measures, surveillance, and increased police presence was replaced by initiatives geared to hamper social tensions and exclusion by proactively empowering communities and individuals. Similar trends have been present all over Europe (see Bakker and Kessels 2012; Vidino and Brandon 2012; Euer et al. 2014a, 2; RAN 2016). Following the recommendations of numerous scholars and experts, policymakers have come to the conclusion that remedies for political extremism need to target, and ideally emerge from, the “troubled” communities where extremism is believed to arise (see Briggs, Fieschi, and Lownsbrough 2006; Davies 2008; Saggar 2009, 397; Gunaratna 2011; Ali 2015; Bhulai, Peters and Nemr 2016). Thus, what is currently stressed in national strategies, European guidelines, commission reports, and academic research is the necessity of winning the hearts and minds of potential radicals. Crucially, as a consequence of this, new actors are becoming involved in counterterrorism. Although the fight against radicalization to a large extent remains a task for the secret services and police forces, prevention has also become a job of the welfare state, where concepts such as “resilience” and “community engagement” indicate a new way of problematizing the threats of violent extremism. This is not only a question of maintaining security, it is also about creating a society where radicalization will not take hold. Thus, social workers, teachers, and representatives of civil society organizations are today often described as key actors in the fight against terrorism (see DCLG 2008a; Cole, Alison and Cole 2013; Aly, Taylor, and Karnovsky 2014). Considering the trimmed down nature of welfare states, however, there are often a lack of resources and competences that can be used to develop and implement prevention tools. In turn, public welfare offices have made themselves increasingly reliant on externally produced programs and working methods battling radicalization by creating “active citizenship.” This means that we are facing governance systems where the lines between public, private, and civil society, have been considerably blurred; prevention is promoted by national and supranational agencies, and developed by civil society and private actors, whose programs are bought and implemented by local governments and welfare services. The work of the EU's antiradicalization body, RAN, illustrates this. Its primary task is to spread knowledge about efficient counterradicalization, where it formulates advice and provides tools for member states. Its website serves as a shop window for over two hundred programs that local authorities and states are encouraged to use in accordance with their specific needs (see European Commission 2014; RAN 2016). It is our belief that such programs, designed to be implemented by local authorities, constitute the backbone of current counterradicalization. Prevention as Citizen-Making As mentioned in the introductory discussion on “citizenship,” to understand how counterradicalization programs operate, and by extension the current regime of counterradicalization more generally, we believe that it is necessary to approach the relationship between government and citizenship from a different perspective than that commonly seen in the literature on citizenship and the prevention of violent extremism. Much of the literature on citizenship, including more critical works, posits state power and individual citizenship as a dichotomy, where citizenship is understood as a protection of the individual against the powers of the state (see Lister and Jarvis 2013; Davies 2016). This conception has its roots in liberal contract theory; John Locke (1988), for example, made safeguards against an obtrusive state a central component of his notion of the social contract. From this perspective, surveillance, stop and search warrants, and race profiling are interpreted as violations of citizenship, whilst policies stressing citizenship and empowerment are understood as ways of preventing radicalization without such infringements. The theoretical innovation of Foucault was his reconceptualization of the relationship between (state) power and freedom. From a liberal perspective, he posited, power through interference, coercion, or direct steering breaks with the ethos of individual freedom that is central to liberalism. Hence, in order to govern the population, government needs to act on freedom rather than repress it, which gives rise to technologies of rule that operate productively. This is what he called “the liberal arts of government” and “governmentality”; a mode of rule that reaches its objectives by acting on how people act, rather than by force and coercion (see Cruikshank 1999; Rose 1999; Turner 2014). In Foucault's view, power is not only what represses individual freedom but also what shapes how it is understood and applied. In Barbara Cruikshank's (1999) wording, this results in a form of government that operates by making people govern themselves in certain ways (see Levy 2014, 30). Along these lines, several scholars have tried to make sense of the production of citizens, for example through citizenship-tests (Turner 2014) and in the social constitution of ethnical communities (Ali 2015). Understanding these processes in the context of counterradicalization provides an important addition, highlighting the relationship between societal belonging and security, which was already an overt concern for Foucault (2007) in his first explorations of the notion of “governmentality.” Cruikshank (1999) has noted that “citizenship-making” schemes took on a prominent role in welfare policies during the last decades of the twentieth century, designed to combat a number of perceived social problems, such as poverty, welfare dependency, and social unrest. In all of these cases, the problem in question was to be managed by empowering people to become independent and law-abiding citizens—just like in the counterradicalization programs we will go on to examine. Provided a traditional understanding of power as exercised top-down, efforts to make communities stakeholders and partners in the work to prevent radicalization may seem like an equaling out of power relations. Rather, following from the theoretical propositions presented here, we believe that they are geared to craft normative citizens, in the context of counterradicalization, building on the idea that the most efficient way of stopping violent extremism is to shape people so that they become naturally tolerant, liberal, and included. This is to say that we fool ourselves when believing that state power diminishes as counterradicalization work refocuses attention from restraints and supervision toward “citizenship” and “empowerment.” To the contrary, it is vital to understand how power is exercised through such programs. The lack of scholarly work on counterradicalization building on this part of Foucault's oeuvre is surprising. Foucault has been widely referred to in the literature on state responses to terrorism; however, previous studies have tended to focus on his work on surveillance and discipline (Foucault 1991; Mythen and Walklate 2005; Aggarwal 2013; MacDonald and Hunter 2013). We believe that recent developments in counterradicalization work are better understood with a governmentality-perspective (see Rose 1999; Dean 2009). A notable exception to this selective reading of Foucault can be found in the work of Charlotte Heath-Kelly, who has argued that present counterterrorism measures are not primarily concerned with “deducting” certain things from the individual, such as “wealth, bodily integrity or even life” (Heath-Kelly 2012a, 72), but with producing subjectivity. In her genealogical explorations of counterterrorism policies, she urges us to consider how counterradicalization work has come to target the desires and beliefs of individuals thought of as susceptible to radicalization (Heath-Kelly 2012a, 72). Central to this is the notion of “risk” and how it has been integrated into contemporary biopolitics (see Beck 1992; Mythen and Walklate 2005; Heath-Kelly 2012a; Elshimi 2015, 120). Similar ideas on what constitutes “risk” of radicalization underpin the programs that we are looking at and concern which groups should be targeted. However, the literature examining the social constitution of “risk” tends to sidestep the concurrent constitution of citizenship through methods and programs of empowerment and inclusion. Against this backdrop, there is a need to understand how programs of counterradicalization are crafting citizen-subjects. This will be the principle task of our empirical analysis, below. Two Programs Manufacturing Citizens The Muslimah—Make a Difference Our first case, the “Muslimah—Make a Difference” project, started in 2007. It was developed by the consultancy firm Faith Association and funded by the Pathfinder Fund. The program was carried out during a one-year period in High Wycombe, a city some fifty kilometers north west of London. It targeted Muslim women who, after counterterrorism raids in the area in August 2006, had expressed a desire to become more involved in civil society but felt that they “lacked the skills, experience and confidence to participate in this agenda” (DCLG 2008b, 46). Thus, the overarching goal of Muslimah was to empower women to take a more active role as leaders and “role models” in their families, local communities, and society as a whole. The focus on Muslim women in the program reflects a more general sentiment among actors seeking to prevent radicalization among Muslim youth in the UK. For example, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) states that “Muslim women . . . represent an untapped potential in the part they can play in preventing violent extremism” (DCLG 2008b, 6) and suggests that “resilient communities cannot be built and sustained without their active participation” (DCLG 2008b, 41). In hindsight, Muslimah has been described as a success and an example of best practice in how the empowerment of women can be utilized in counterterrorism work. (The Audit Commission 2008, 38; DCLG 2008b, 41–47; Dyke and James 2009, 38; Buckinghamshire Children and People's Trust 2010, 8; Faith in Community Scotland 2011, 42). Like similar counterradicalization programs, Muslimah argues that capacities for change rest within each individual, evidenced by the slogan “Inspiring Change from Within.” Hence, the mission of the program was to mobilize this potential, with workshops designed to empower participants to realize the benefits of activation in the community and the parallel risks of inactivity. The stated aim of Muslimah reads: The Muslimah—Make a Difference is a unique programme aimed at increasing the knowledge of Muslim women and girls of their Islamic history in the context of their rights, duties and roles as well as to increase their knowledge of the current status of Muslims in the United Kingdom and to bring about a desire for positive change through active participation and becoming active citizens in their communities and wider society. It is a fundamental principle that any positive change within a community is led by courageous and ethical leadership and there is a consensus amongst Muslims in so far as Muslim women are concerned, there is a vacuum in this area that must be filled. (Faith Associates 2008, 4) In this way, active participation and active citizenship are vehicles of positive change regarding the situation of Muslims in the UK and are tools to prevent radicalization. The problem is, as stated in the last sentence of the quote, that Muslim women have not embraced this role to a sufficient degree, wherefore the aim of the program is to activate participants. The more specified roles and duties that participating women are encouraged to assume can thus be seen as substantiating what “citizenship” means in the context of Muslimah. The logic behind empowerment and self-help programs is that people cannot be forced to better their situation; such efforts will only result in paternalistic measures spurring tensions with targeted groups. Rather, programs need to pinpoint the desires and inner motivations of participants so that they become inclined to help themselves (Cruikshank 1999, 49). This largely follows from Foucault's (2007, 2008) understanding of the liberal arts of government, where the challenge is to govern without interfering by linking together the will of the individual with the overarching objectives of government. In other words, Muslimah is designed to make Muslim women realize that they have an interest in taking on an active and engaged role in their local communities, which in turn is projected to serve the societal goal of preventing radicalization. In this way, Muslimah seeks to act upon participants in ways that make them behave in accordance with what the program considers to be their own best interests. This is largely done by incorporating ideals of engagement and civic responsibility into an ideal “Muslim womanhood.” As shown by the extract from the program description quoted above, the first order of business is to establish that the participants, being Muslim and women, share an identity that is attached to a moral obligation to empower oneself—not because of one's individual disposition but as a consequence of one's group belonging. In this way, the conception of what being a Muslim woman implies is the foundation of Muslimah. This construction of Muslim womanhood is of course distinctively similar to classic liberal ideals of citizenship as independence and participation in public life. However, it is nevertheless the identity attachments of participants to their religious group that are put to work to instill a sense of citizenship duty. Since participants of the program already belong to this group, furthermore, this ideal is ready to be activated and infused into their behavior. A central tool linking Muslim identity with citizenship is the frequent use of “role-models.” The program material states that the content of the program “was faith focused to demonstrate the importance placed by Islam on being positive and active role models” (Faith Associates 2008, 11) and that “drawing upon faith and heritage, historical role models can inspire and empower Muslim women to make a difference” (DCLG 2008b, 47). In this way, role-models both showcase successful Muslim women who have played an active role in their local communities and serve as aspirational examples for participants. Furthermore, this is frequently linked to Muslim faith and theology, offering participants an interpretation of Islam where the “good Muslim” exerts influence by leading by example. In this way, the presentation of the skills and characteristics of role-models conveys a tangible example of what outcomes the program projects; participants should be active whilst still undertaking their duties in the home; they should be socially engaged yet good mothers; and they should be aware of what their children and Muslim youth are up to. This is what citizenship means in the context of this program. Now, if Muslim women have an inner drive to function as active citizens and if this role is, in addition, a vital dimension of their religion, one wonders why the targets of Muslimah are not already actively participating in their communities. In this regard, the program posits that the main problem is that Muslim women lack knowledge: Many of the participants were unaware of the many great Muslim women role models that existed historically and in contemporary society and were surprised to learn of the numbers and their achievements in the fields of education, science, politics, war, family and society. Many of the participants were able to identify some of the key attributes of positive role models. (Faith Associates 2008, 11) As a response to this lack, participants are encouraged to construct in their own image a model for the role they wish to play in their communities, where the program states that it seeks to achieve “[a] realisation of the duties placed on each individual man and women as Muslims to be proactive and positive role models in every sphere of life” (Faith Associates 2008, 12). Following this template, a participant in one of Muslimah's workshop evaluations stated that the main benefit of the program had been “learning about the lack of knowledge of our religion and learning about Islamic role models” (Faith Associates 2008, 13). Significantly, the participant did not express that she had learned about her religion but rather about her own lack of knowledge. Thus, in parallel to Cruikshank's analysis of citizenship empowerment, these lapses of knowledge can only be filled by individual development and activation; the role of Muslimah is to help by making Muslim women help themselves. The required knowledge, furthermore, not only pertains to how individuals can act as role-models but also to the current, dire socioeconomic situation of Muslims in general. Participants were generally not aware of the current situation of Muslims in terms of socio-economic achievements, academically and in terms of prison population/war on terror and many were shocked by the actual facts and statistics presented to them. Information presented included facts around the economic situation of Muslims. (Faith Associates 2008, 7) Knowledge about the situation of Muslims in the United Kingdom is here regarded as an instigator of change. Once participants are made aware of the hardships of their community, which they have supposedly previously neglected, they will connect with their Muslim identity and become more active in their local communities. In general, Muslimah fits well with Cruikshank's (1999) analysis of “citizenship empowerment,” exposing apt parallels to the theoretical propositions of Rose (1999) and Bacchi (2009). First, Muslimah is centered on a political “problematization,” as Bacchi (2009, 39–44) calls it, of radical extremism among Muslim youth, which in turn is linked to a certain government response, here in the form of Muslim women becoming active citizens. This linkage can be made because the targeted groups are constructed as lacking knowledge of their citizenship duties. In Muslimah, this is continuously described as a neglected religious obligation. The functioning of the program, then, is to answer this lack by mobilizing the inner drive of targets to reshape themselves into “active citizens.” Furthermore, in line with Foucault's take on the liberal arts of government, since active citizenship is perceived as an inner desire of these individuals, the state does not need to restrict their freedom but rather to mobilize it. At the same time, since the ideals of active citizenship and the role-models were present from the outset, participants were not asked to explore or reflect upon what constitutes a good life but merely to discover it, via the careful guidance of trainers showcasing examples of great Muslim women. As indicated by Isin (2008) in his discussion about the distinction between rule-abiding “active citizens” and the transformative enactments of “activist citizens,” the citizenship constructed here becomes a choice between preset alternatives, rather than questioning the wider playing field as such. In addition to this, the program material stresses a number of hardships that may hamper the possibility of becoming active citizens. For example, it is often noted that it may be hard for participants to find the time and energy to engage actively in their communities, not least because of the duties associated with serving their families. This issue is addressed in the materials by stressing life-management skills and the inspirational examples set by the role-models. In this way, one report of a Muslimah workshop states that “there was a growing understanding [among the participants] that in order to contribute one had to be much more constructive with the use of time, activities planned and social life” (Faith Associates 2008, 12). Activation and empowerment cannot be reached without sacrifices and changes to current lifestyles. This is also frequently highlighted in the explorations of the role models, who successfully manage to juggle family and public life by putting time and energy to more efficient use. In one workshop report, a participant states that the main teaching for her was: “I have learnt that I can make so much more difference than I thought regardless of any personal and social circumstances” (Faith Associates 2008, 13). The fact that this quote is singled out and highlighted is significant, shedding light on the basic premise of “empowerment” as analyzed by Cruikshank; the seeds of change reside within each of us. Social circumstances are therefore not to be changed but overcome by the willpower of the individual. Bounce Our second case, The BOUNCE tool-kit, was first presented in Brussels in December 2014. The program is a spin-off of the EU-funded Stresaviora project, which sought to develop prevention tools built on trust and positivity and is currently planned to be implemented in five different EU-countries and ten cities (bounce-resilience-tools.eu). The bedrock of BOUNCE is a series of ten training sessions, where trainers guide young people through group discussions and exercises geared to encourage participants to take a positive and confident approach to whatever hardships they encounter. While the shared identity of the targeted group is central in “Muslimah,” BOUNCE is individualistic and general in its basic approach, reaching out to all young people, regardless of ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic background, or political views. Just as Muslimah has the role-model Muslim woman, BOUNCE seeks to foster “the resilient person” (BOUNCE 2014b, 48)—a “conceptual figure” used to visualize BOUNCE's vision of active citizenship. “Resilience” is here defined as the ability to “bounce back” when facing challenging situations. In the Stresavioara project, the relationship between prevention and citizenship is expressed as follows: A society should support youngsters to be rooted in their life, but this should be in the direction of democratic citizenship. This implicitly means that there should be a belief in the potential power of preventive effort to increase the already present sources of power in youngster's life, to prevent from involvement in violent radicalization. (Euer et al. 2014b, 21) Just as in Muslimah, and Cruikshank's analysis of citizenship empowerment, the resources and motivation to become an active citizen are seen as residing within the individual. As is hinted at in the quote, bringing about the person that “bounces back” involves taking a positive approach to young people and their motivations (BOUNCE 2014a, 6). This ethos of positivity characterizes all BOUNCE manuals and is frequently returned to, appearing as absolutely central to the program. Thus, if young persons are approached with positive and nonjudgmental attitudes, with affirmation rather than questioning, they will emerge as resilient, active, and critical citizens. This places considerable demands on the trainers, who are encouraged to apply a positive approach to whatever participants express: [a] positive perspective that people's actions, choices, and behavior of people [sic!] have a positive core, backed by a positive wish. This makes it possible to reframe negative perspectives to positive ones. For the topic “violent radicalization,” we can choose for example, to reframe this using the less judgmental terms “strong ideals,” “strong opinions,” or “extreme ideals.” Having “strong opinions” or “extreme ideals” doesn't need to be negative. (BOUNCE 2014a, 9) This idea of how resilience is achieved is founded in the Stresaviora research report. Corresponding with the methods of BOUNCE, the text argues that any meaning or concept can be reconceptualized into a positive one: “[b]y positively appreciating the young ‘radical’ as a person who is in search of citizenship, the youngster is enabled to develop his or her ideals in a positive way” (Euer et al. 2014a, 9). In this way, citizenship is framed as a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the designation of young radicalized people as searching for active citizenship will enable such persons to become citizens. By using the positive approach to reframe motivations and desires, “youths (with a passion for certain topics or ideologies) can develop into critical, aware civilians who can participate in and contribute to democracy” (Euer et al. 2014a, 35). The underlying idea here is not that problems should be denied but that they should be approached as wishes for something else, that is, as wishes for active citizenship as understood within the program. Just as Foucault described liberal rule as governing without interfering, BOUNCE seeks to recreate the attitudes and intentions of the subject by mobilizing their personal resources—not by coercion or repression but by positive images of the future, which are seen as central to achieve behavioral changes (BOUNCE 2014a, 48). As is outlined in the report of the Stresaviora project, this might, for example, entail encouraging radical youngsters to switch terminology in search for positive words that can replace negative ones, which in turn will change the world views of participants and their behavior. It should be noted that this positive approach is not merely about seeing things from a more optimistic perspective but about actually recreating social reality. As stated in the Stresaviora project report: “[t]he way people talk about reality, construct reality: words become worlds” (Euer et al. 2014a, 37–38). According to this text, there is no external reality governing how we choose to approach ourselves and our surroundings. This has rather drastic consequences, for example that “[r]elative deprivation is a form of (perceived) discrimination, which results from comparing oneself (or one's group) with others” (Euer et al. 2014a, 7). “Relative deprivation” is described as one of the main root causes of radicalization, which the program, by positive communication and encouragement, proposes to transform into something positive, activating, and empowering. The actual tool to achieve this is the communication method of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), which is described in the quote below: Based on the premise that there is a direct and simultaneous link between the way we speak about our reality and the way we construct our reality . . . appreciative inquiry distinguishes itself by posing positive questions that direct our focus to the vital life-giving forces that nourish our best and most valued models of organizing micro and macro human systems. (Euer et al. 2014a, 36, italics in original quote) Hence, injustices, deprivation, and discrimination are but mental perceptions, stemming from a negative outlook. Therefore, they can be altered by the processes initiated by AI. The governmental technology of BOUNCE is to urge potential radicals to “think positive” about whatever it is that arrests them and to urge project trainers to think about these youngsters as people in search of “active citizenship” (Euer et al 2014a, 36). This suggests a social reality where no societal or structural causes need to change in order to combat grievances and discrimination: “people are able to (re)create reality through cooperation between the imagination and the reasoning function of the mind. Reality is ‘makeable’ instead of determined” (Euer et al. 2014a, 38). In parallel to how Muslimah constructed its target groups as lacking knowledge, thereby individualizing the problem and solutions of radicalization, BOUNCE constructs radicalized youngsters as lacking the proper positive attitudes that nurture active citizenship. By this theoretical maneuver, every other political measure—for example seeking to battle discrimination, poverty, or segregation as social phenomena—becomes superfluous. Thus, while Muslimah seeks to produce good and active citizens by linking empowerment to religious faith, BOUNCE seeks to produce the resilient individual by a radical attitude of positivity. The overarching purpose is to craft a certain kind of subject that is thought of as immune to radicalization, since they have been vaccinated by the positive approach. This is made explicit in the following quote: An early preventative approach also means we are targeting young people and the environment of young people who are developing their identity and are open to all kinds of influences. This development of an identity is very active in the period of puberty and early adolescence (but of course continues through the further life). The openness to influence also means it is possible to make a difference and prevent young people from becoming involved in a process of violent radicalization. (Euer et al. 2014a, 11) In effect, the focus on the inner life of the individual, on their motivations and attitudes, means that BOUNCE essentially conceptualizes radicalization as a character flaw. And in this way, the program's approach to radicalization presents itself as emblematic of the individualism many see as a defining characteristic of late-modern societies; by making social grievances and inequality a feature of the psyche, we move from having a social problem to having an individual problem, in turn leading to individual solutions targeting the attitudes of the radicalized. At certain points, BOUNCE appears to come straight off the self-help bookshelf, for example when “dreaming about the future” is made possible by letting participants write their perfect future on a piece of wood. However, with regards to the constructivist approach guiding BOUNCE, this type of exercise should not be dismissed as merely fluffy nonsense. This is an expression of BOUNCE's crude “constructivist” understanding, where dreams about the future are believed to have a direct effect on states of mind, choices, and actions: “positive images and discourses of the future lead to positive actions. Our behavior and actions are strongly inspired by the projected future” (Euer et al. 2014a, 38). Hence, the exercises conducted in BOUNCE are not arbitrary but part of a scheme developed to promote a specific type of positive thinking, which involves the “dream” of becoming a well-functioning, democratic citizen (BOUNCE 2014b, 148). Indeed, during the very last session of the BOUNCE training program, when participants are expected to have attained the positive attitudes and skills required to reach their dream of a perfect future, they are assigned to break the piece of wood. In order to accomplish this, the participants are asked to utilize all the skills learnt during the previous sessions, including the use of physical, social, and mental resilience, along with self-awareness and confidence. When ready and confident “the participant punches the piece of wood in two with a strong, short and controlled punch, combined with breaking out” (BOUNCE 2014b, 153). As BOUNCE seeks to produce self-reliant citizens, this symbolic ritual marks citizenship as an achievement of breaking free from negative attitudes and uncritical thinking. Crafting the Well-Rounded Citizen What can these two cases teach us about the rationalities underpinning present counterradicalization programs? In addition to the functioning of the programs detailed above, we believe that a central aspect of how “active citizenship” is made a solution to radicalization is that these programs depoliticize radicalization and violent extremism. First, in the sense that they lay the burden for solving the problem on local communities and people at risk of being radicalized, the focus on empowerment and individual responsibility means that government operates by effacing its own role and dressing it up as the “self-government” and “active citizenship” of targeted groups. Second, the programs depoliticize in the sense that both social problems and extremist ideologies are made beside the point. In BOUNCE, social problems shall be met with positive thinking on the part of marginalized groups. In Muslimah, the ideology of radical and violent Islam shall be replaced by information about how this religion, “in actual fact,” is about being an active and engaged role-model who rejects violence. In both cases, the respective solutions suspend critical thinking; people are not supposed to understand and critically reflect on ideas or their own situation but to think positively or buy into the ideals of the programs. Third, by making the causes of radicalization individual shortcomings, redistribution of power or social recognition are effectively replaced by changes of mindsets. For all of the conflicting ideas, interpretations, and power relations that are involved, both in the causes of and responses to radicalization, programs of citizenship empowerment essentially work by slating over such conflicts, stressing the presumed desire of targeted groups to become “active citizens” as all-embracing and universal values. In this sense, our account of the current regime of counterradicalization differs from previous critiques. First, it differs in the sense that we do not see the ideology of citizenship as innocent. Rather than asking what citizenship should be or exposing its interpretation within these programs as mere hoaxes, we have focused on which problems “active citizenship” is proposed as a solution to and how this implies certain constructions of targeted subjects and requires certain tools, provided by the programs and geared to change the attitudes and behavior of targeted groups. More specifically, we also differ from critiques of the often-farcical methods that are used in preventative work. Heath-Kelly (2013, 404), for example, rhetorically asks why the UK government should fund young Muslims playing cricket in order to counter radicalization, convincingly showing that this is entangled with how “risky” individuals are constituted as objects of knowledge. Although we agree with her theorization, we also see a certain danger in focusing too much on the opaque and seemingly ridiculous nature of some counterradicalization measures. When such methods—whether they be playing cricket, breaking pieces of wood, or reading up about female Muslim role-models—are analyzed in detail together with the rest of the materials of the programs they are part of, we are able to see how they are expressions of underlying rationalities of counterradicalization. In other words, rather than merely stating the absurdity of breaking a piece of wood, critical empirical encounters with counterradicalization programs need to uncover the political stakes that such examples are expressions of. Concluding Reflections Our overall conclusion is that programs like Muslimah and BOUNCE need to be analyzed as instances of power that operate by creating citizen-subjects who are shaped to behave and relate to their societies in certain prescribed ways. These propositions provide an opportunity to advance a more general theoretical discussion revolving around the relationship between citizenship, government, and security, especially as related to the effects of depoliticization that we discussed above; how might it be possible to repoliticize counterradicalization? To start with, it is useful to remind ourselves of the purpose and contribution of our theoretical intervention. As mentioned in the introduction, previous scholarly critiques of “active citizenship” in the context of counterradicalization have argued that these are just ways of masking a prevailing focus on “risky” communities and individuals. Underpinning these critiques is a distinction between “good” and “bad” versions of citizenship, where the overarching ambition is to promote the former. This also holds for the literature on citizenship and security more generally. Consider for example Guillaume and Huysman's (2013) edited volume. The chapters of this book are primarily preoccupied with two distinct ways in which citizenship and securitization interplay. The first regards how citizenship, in both a formal and a substantial sense, is being withdrawn from certain people, such as Muslims in Switzerland, sex workers in the EU, and so on. These groups are deprived of rights that other parts of the population are entitled to, justified by references to “security,” which means that their citizenship is curtailed (see Gianni 2013, 218–20). Secondly, another set of chapters discuss how disruptive events can spark new venues and expressions of citizenship, which ultimately may help us reformulate our understanding of community belonging. In other words, disruptive events may give rise to increased repression but also to more constructive developments. As the sole grounds of critical engagement with the politics of counterradicalization, we believe that this structure of reasoning is insufficient since it falls prey to what Foucault (in Tremain 2005, 9) understood as a juridico-political notion of power, which equates “government” with “suppression” and restraint, whilst neglecting how power also works productively, by inciting, molding, and valuing subjects. This theoretical entrapment hampers our appreciation of what is going on in programs such as Muslimah and BOUNCE. Furthermore, it also reinforces the depoliticization of the current regime of counterradicalization. When we exclusively direct our critical sensibilities toward the repressive powers of surveillance, coercion, and control, we miss how the government of counterradicalization also has come to operate in other ways, which all too easily escape critique and contestation. The general theoretical perspective of this article can thus work to counter depoliticization by expanding our understanding of how and where power operates. On the other hand, although important to help us see that allegedly universal ideals of “active citizenship” are far from innocent and unpolitical, the literature on governmentality has less to say about change, contestation, and resistance. This gives rise to the pertinent question: once we have acknowledged the operations of power, how about the possibilities of countering it? The focus on how subjects are constituted means that scholars working in the Foucauldian tradition have neglected this question. In this regard, Isin's understanding of “acts of citizenship” may prove useful. He formulates the distinction between active and activist citizens as follows: While activist citizens engage in writing scripts and creating the scene, active citizens follow scripts and participate in scenes that are already created. While activist citizens are creative, active citizens are not. (Isin 2008, 38) Whilst the governmentality literature in this article has been used to make sense of the manufacturing of what Isin calls “active citizens,” his notion of the activist citizen may help us refigure actions that point toward instances and actions that may open up opportunities for political belonging to be something altogether different. Akin to Hannah Arendt's (1994) understanding of politics, Isin believes in agency and the capacity of political action to constitute identity. Indeed, “citizenship” is an inherently bounded concept—tied up with the liberal history of political philosophy, territorial nation states, and norms about proper conduct. The acts that Isin focuses attention on are those that shake and move these boundaries. Although Isin and other scholars who devote their analytical attention to actions that shift the boundaries of citizenship cannot help us understand how this concept operates as a political technology, they surely can be used to criticize the implicit idea of the current regime of counterradicalization that ideals of “active citizenship” should be imposed on certain groups from the top down. Provided Isin's perspective, the problem of the programs that we have examined is that their implicit idea of a well-functioning polity, characterized by consensus formed around fundamental values and harmonious coexistence, is devoid of actual politics (see Honig 1993), in Arendt's (1994) sense of the word; it is freed from challenges, from actions that breaks with the script and which may transform citizenship into something else. Hence, whilst previous work on counterradicalization has either sought to advance “genuine” citizenship or tried to reveal that the ideals of current counterradicalization consist of little more than window-dressing, we suggest that critical approaches to counterradicalization need to ask a new set of questions that emerge from the tension between Foucault's understanding of government and Isin and Arendt's focus on actions that reconstitute the political playing field as such. In the context of counterterrorism and securitization, this suggests a theoretical approach both seeking to understand how citizenship is made a solution of security concerns and analyzing how the discursive framing of “citizenship” and “security” can be disrupted by acts that unsettle taken-for-granted presumptions regarding their relationship. 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