Disengagement from violent extremism and reintegration into mainstream society have been the focus of significant research over the last 15 years. However, programs to facilitate or bring about violent extremist disengagement and reintegration are under-researched, largely as a result of the opacity of these programs and difficulties in access. Understanding how and why programs work or do not work is also impeded by conceptual confusion, and by four specific problems which have been discussed in the relevant literature: insufficient attention to the context and environment surrounding programmatic interventions, lack of clarity over their intended outcomes, lack of specificity in responses, and simplistic models of causation. The paper endorses previous studies recommending the use of realist evaluation to understand disengagement and reintegration interventions, and proposes a conceptual framework derived from an extensive review of the relevant literature to support planning, design and evaluation of interventions.
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