Constructing the 'good Muslim girl': Hegemonic and pariah femininities in the British Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) agenda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the rise of Islamic State (IS) in 2014, British Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) policy, Prevent, has increasingly focused on the appeal of jihadist ideology to Muslim girls. This article considers the case of the Bethnal Green girls, who migrated to IS territory in February 2015. Using the concepts of hegemonic and pariah femininities, it shows how gender intersects with religion, race, and class in British PVE to construct the ’good Muslim girl’ as both an aspirational figure that young Muslim women should seek to emulate and the norm against which signs of radicalisation can be measured. The article concludes that the articulation of this neoliberal subject via PVE is deeply problematic in theory and practice: gendering the ‘signs’ of radicalisation, offering neoliberal solutions that fail to account for intersectional structural oppressions and disciplining pariah Muslim femininities in excessive ways.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2023

Cite this