When Schooling Becomes a Tactic of Security: Educating to Counter “Extremism”

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The intent of this series is to generate a space for critical reflection and inquiry on a burgeoning form of sociopolitical labor of schooling, that of educating against “extremism.” In the United States’ ongoing “War on Terror” being waged across the Middle East, North and East Africa, and South Asia, formal and informal schooling have long been conscripted into efforts to mitigate extremism among “vulnerable” youth populations. More recently, the rise of strident anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiments across North America and Europe has contributed to the normalization of xenophobic-and particularly Islamophobic-political discourse. In this climate, state surveillance and policing of immigrant and Muslim communities are proliferating (as are racially/religiously motivated attacks against them). Regardless of their citizenship status, youth from these communities (or who are imagined to be from these communities) are often construed as vulnerable/threatening Others. This has implications for education research, and suggests global movement and production of discourse around education as a means of security and countering extremism, which warrants closer and comparative inquiry. In response to these developments, we ask: what does it mean to educate against extremism? Who has the power to name bodies, ideas, and acts as extremists? What is the utility of this terminology at this particular historical moment? We have invited different scholars to think with these questions and to contribute original perspectives on the interplay of security, education, migration, and xenophobia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-5
Number of pages4
JournalDiaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


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