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

Leonie Brooke Jackson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Early online date22 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2024

Cite this