Author Biography

Dr. Jose Liht is a Research Associate with the Cambridge Interfaith Programme, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. Dr. Sara Savage is Senior Research Associate with the Psychology and Religion Research Group at the University of Cambridge. Both authors are social psychologists. This research was supported by the European Commission (Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security) Action Grant ID: RG 50234 GFZB/023. Correspondence about this article can be addressed to Dr. Jose Liht or Dr. Sara Savage, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9BS, UK Email: Jose Liht: jl468 @cam.ac.uk Sara Savage: sbs21@cam.ac.uk



Subject Area Keywords

Fundamentalism, Globalization and global change, Methodology, Peace studies, Psychology, Radicalization, Violent extremism


This article reports on an intervention designed to prevent violent extremism in young UK Muslims, and provides an empirical assessment of its effectiveness. The course was designed to expose participants to the multiplicity of value priorities that influential Muslims embody, and to structure group activities that allow participants to explore all value positions on issues central to radical Islamist discourse, free from criticism or social pressure. The intervention, a 16 contact hour course using films and group activities that enables participants to problem solve according to a broad array of their own values, was pre and post tested with 81 young Muslims (mean age 19.48; SD=2.14) across seven pilot groups around the UK. As hypothesised, value spread and integrative complexity increased significantly by the end of the course in group discussions, and in written responses to moral dilemmas, conflict resolution style shifted towards collaboration and compromise.


Thanks to Dr Ryan Williams for pre and post-test data gathering, Taylor Burns for data entering services, Anjum Khan for expertise in facilitation and in the field of prevention, Dr Eolene Boyd-MacMillan for continued development and input into the pedagogy, and Dr Fraser Watts for his support as Director of the Psychology and Religion Research Group.