Individuals and groups who support or commit ideologically-motivated violence to further political goals tend to prosper in communities or states with a higher degree of fragility. In general, fragility is higher in states with reduced legitimacy, poor levels of public services, and weak rule of law.
A comprehensive strategy to build capacities to counter violent extremism can therefore not be limited to military counter-terrorism assistance, but must address important governance deficits. Respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, is complementary and mutually reinforcing with strategies to counter radicalization and violent extremism; they are an essential part of effective counter-efforts. For most societies, establishing good security sector governance is one of the bigger challenges in countering radicalization and violent extremism. A security sector that fails to respect fundamental freedoms and citizens’ rights lacks public support and legitimacy, and risks to fuel violent extremism rather than decreasing it.