Building Democratic Resilience: Public Sphere Responses to Violent Extremism

Building Democratic Resilience: Public Sphere Responses to Violent Extremism

Selen A. Ercan, Jordan McSwiney, Peter Balint, and John S. Dryzek

2022

,

State of NSW, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Summary

Violent extremism threatens human life and safety. Often overlooked is how violent extremists endanger the public sphere, which is comprised of the practices, institutions and actors that sustain communication about matters of common concern. Violent extremists seek to undermine the public sphere by sowing division, distrust, and fear. How should the public sphere respond to the threats posed by the violent extremism?

The report, Building Democratic Resilience offers a framework for examining and improving the public sphere responses to violent extremism. It develops the concept of ‘democratic resilience’ drawing on the theory of deliberative democracy, and empirical research on countering violent extremism (CVE) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. It explains how ‘democratic resilience’ differs from and supplements ‘community resilience’, which is the current resilience framework used by the NSW Government. The report offers key insights for academics, public servants, policy makers and the journalists working to develop strategies for tackling violent extremism