Impact Assessment of Belgian De-„Radicalisation“ Policies Upon Social Cohesion and Liberties. Final Report.

Laure Kervyn de Meerendré , Réka Varga, Fabienne BRION, Charlène Crahay , Kristof Verfaillie, Estelle Hanard, Sofie De Kimpe, Remacle Coline, Charlotte Vanneste, Sarah Van Praet

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The 2014, 2015 and 2016 Brussels and Paris attacks by young European Muslims who had joined IS were followed by abundant legislative activity in the security area; they prompted the federal government and the governments of the federated entities to adopt several “action plans”, and eventually led to an important reorganisation of the Belgian security assemblage. In this context, the objective of AFFECT has been to assess the impact of de-“radicalisation” policies on social cohesion and liberties. Two problems appeared to require particular attention: the rise of “preemptive security”, and the adoption of the notion of “radicalisation” that fits perfectly into the latter’s precautionary logic. The field investigated is that of the Belgian State's law enforcement apparatus (police, courts, prisons). Our findings (i) suggest that “radicalisation” is, in advanced liberal societies, the “strategic invention” that allows the passage from social security to “preemptive security”, and the reconfiguration of law and the “surveillant assemblages” that this passage requires, and (ii) uncover some impacts of mechanisms induced by this notion, on social cohesion and liberties, the suspectification of the Muslim community, and the marginalisation or radical exclusion of some of its members.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBelgian Science Policy Office
Commissioning bodyFederaal Wetenschapsbeleid (FOD) - BELSPO
Number of pages158
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • radicalisation
  • pre-emptive security
  • precautionary logic
  • surveillance
  • multi-agency
  • local police
  • prison regime
  • risk assessment
  • polarisation
  • crimmigration
  • management of extremist offenders
  • ethnography


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