Dealing with Ethical Issues in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): An Exploration of Concepts and Tools to Support CVE Programs and Practitioners

Michael Kowalski
2021 Proceedings (MDPI)  
Countering violent extremism (CVE) implies many pressing ethical issues. For policymakers and professionals, it is essential to identify concrete ethical dilemmas and to understand the underlying more abstract ethical issues. The proposed typology of ethical issues consists of four different levels: the structural, the political, the professional, and the personal levels. Ethical issues on the structural level are rooted in the conditions of the world risk society, such as the morality of CVE
more » ... d counterterrorism in general or its fundamental inconsistencies. On the political level, the phenomenon of the state of emergency, the politicization of CVE and counterterrorism, the legitimacy of state interventions, and the tension between secrecy and transparency all play a role. Professional values can conflict with organizational interests on the professional level. Finally, on the personal level, integrity can come under pressure due to conflicting values. An exploration of the benefits for counterterrorism practitioners of the consequentialist, deontological, and virtue-ethical approaches concludes that none of them offers a sound approach to the practice of counterterrorism in a liquid world risk society. This provides an opportunity to highlight the potential of the philosophical concept of "compromise" (Benjamin) in reconciling opposing principles and underlying values of the key ethical approaches. A major source of guidance and inspiration for compromise is phronesis, or practical wisdom. Another powerful concept is the ethics triangle (Svara). This ethics triangle implies that public administrators should strive towards a balance of virtue, principle, and good consequences, all seen from the perspective of the duty of the public interest. There are several ethics tools available that can inform the design of CVE programs and support dealing with the various types of ethical issues once a CVE program is started. First, it is useful to engage in a closer analysis and value clarification of the ethical issues at [...]
doi:10.3390/proceedings2021077002 doaj:e93c72a2005448adb5f10024c7b4ea26 fatcat:mq3oibbwozbgjckvlrfdsnf5ge