The Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology (JASIST) recently published an “early view” article on “Using information science to enhance educational preventing violent extremism programs”.
The open access article, written by Kevin Wong, Geoff Walton and Gavin Bailey, shows how information literacy can be used to improve programmes designed to help counter radicalisation and prevent violent extremism. The programme and evaluation were supported by the UK Home Office, who also gave permission for the article to be published.
The authors believe the research makes a significant contribution to mainstream policy and is also novel in its inter-disciplinary approach; they would welcome feedback from the information literacy community.
Educational preventing violent extremism (EPVE) programmes have had (to date) little, if any, theoretical underpinning. Such an absence is notable but not unexpected given the political sensitivities attached to them. These programmes remain an emerging policy area that is still “finding its feet,” around which their legitimacy and efficacy is keenly debated. This paper argues for adopting theoretical principles drawn from information science research based upon information behaviour and information literacy models to provide a framework for the design and development of such programmes and against which their efficacy can be tested. This article is ground breaking and of international significance, being the first to apply learning from information science to practice in furthering policy goals around countering radicalization and extremism in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions.