Community Perceptions of Violent Extremism in Kenya

The emergence of various armed extremist groups in the Greater Horn of Africa, particularly al-Shabaab and its affiliates, has elicited a range of political, security, and developmental responses. Countering ViolentExtremism (CVE), a developmental approach to counterterrorism that seeks to address the social and political ‘root causes’ of violent extremism, has gained particular prominence in Kenya. Based on field research undertaken in 2016, this report highlights some of the discrepancies between dominant narratives aroundviolent extremism present in policy and academic arenas, and the lived experiences of those in communities affected by violent extremism and targeted by government and civil society organisations for CVEinterventions.