Socio-Cultural Capital and Community Resilience: Perception of University Students about Violent Extremism in Pakistan


  • Adeela Rehman Department of Sociology, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Malik Ghulam Behlol Department of Education, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan



Violent Extremism, Resilience, Socio-cultural Capital, Violent Behaviour, Beliefs


The importance of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) has been a topic of recent interest for the global community. Pakistan is no exception to this trend. In recent years, university students have often been targets of extremist violence propaganda. This study aimed to explore perception of university students about violent extremism and the role of socio-cultural capital and community resilience in CVE. Quantitative research design was used to survey students belonging to various public and private universities in three major cities of Pakistan: Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and Peshawar. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown and closure of universities, the online survey technique was used by posting the survey on social media; using personal contacts; and emails. The ‘Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism’ (BRAVE) scale was used to assess the students’ perceptions and behaviour towards violent extremism. 480 students participated in the study over a two-month period. The findings demonstrated a significant role of socio-cultural capital in propagating as well as resisting violent beliefs and behaviour. The study concluded that culture, ethnic background, support from family and community, contribute to strengthening resilience against violent extremism among university students. It is recommended that Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) should promote tolerance and peace through a more human rights-centric curriculum and education about different cultures as well as unbiased teaching practices to promote peaceful ways for resolving conflicts when they arise.

The scope of this article is related to the following SDG / SDGs.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Adeela Rehman, Department of Sociology, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan



Malik Ghulam Behlol, Department of Education, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan





Ahmed, Z.S. and Jafri, Q.A. 2020, ‘Drivers of Violent Extremism in Higher Education Institutions of Pakistan’, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, vol. 13, no. 3, pp.230244.

Aly, A., Taylor, E. and Karnovsky, S. 2014, ‘Moral Disengagement and Building Resilience to Violent Extremism: An Education Intervention’, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol.37, no. 4, pp.369-385.

Atran, S. 2015, ‘Youth, Violent Extremism and Promoting Peace’, Address to UN Security Council, 25 April, United Nations, New York, USA.

Brisson, J., Gerrand, V., Hadfield, K. and Jefferies, P. 2017, ‘Understanding Youth Resilience to Violent Extremism: A Standardized Research Measure’, Victoria: Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.

Christiaens, E., Hardyns, W. and Pauwels, L. 2018, ‘Evaluating the BOUNCEUp Tool: Research Findings and Policy Implications’, Ghent: Ghent University.

Clauss-Ehlers, C.S., Yang, Y.T.T. and Chen, W.C.J. 2006, ‘Resilience from Childhood Stressors: The Role of Cultural Resilience, Ethnic Identity, and Gender Identity’, Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, vol. 5, no. 1, pp.124-138.

Ellis, B.H. and Abdi, S. 2017, ‘Building Community Resilience to Violent Extremism through Genuine Partnerships’, American Psychologist, vol. 72, no. 3, p.289.

Etikan, I., Musa, S.A. and Alkassim, R.S. 2016, ‘Comparison of Convenience Sampling and Purposive Sampling’, American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics, vol. 5, no. 1, pp.1-4.

Fair, C.C. 2015, ‘Explaining Support for Sectarian Terrorism in Pakistan: Piety, Maslak and Sharia’, Religions, vol. 6, no. 4, pp.1137-1167.

Gay, G. 2018, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice, New York: Teachers College Press.

IACP 2014, Model Policy, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Pan American Copyright Convention, USA.

Leiner, D.J. 2014, ‘Convenience Samples from Online Respondent Pools: A Case Study of the Sosci Panel’, International Journal of Internet Science, vol. 20, no. 5, pp.118.

Lösel, F., King, S., Bender, D. and Jugl, I. 2018, ‘Protective Factors against Extremism and Violent Radicalization: A Systematic Review of Research’, International Journal of Developmental Science, vol. 12, nos. 1-2, pp.89-102.

Peucker, M., Grossman, M., Smith, D. and Dellal, H.D. 2016, ‘Stocktake Research

Project: A Systematic Literature and Selected Program Review on Social Cohesion, Community Resilience and Violent Extremism 2011-2015’, State of Victoria: Community Resilience Unit, Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Särndal, C.E., Swensson, B. and Wretman, J. 2003, Model Assisted Survey Sampling, New York: Springer Science & Business Media.

Sundaram, V. 2014, Preventing Youth Violence: Rethinking the Role of Gender and Schools, London: Springer.

Thomas, P. 2012, Responding to the Threat of Violent Extremism: Failing to Prevent, London: A&C Black.

UN 2017, The United Nations Counter Terrorism Complex: Bureaucracy, Political Influence and Civil Liberties, New York: United Nations.

UNESCO 2015, EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011. The Hidden Crisis: Armed Conflict and Education, Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Ungar, M. 2021, Multisystematic Resilience: Adaptation and Transformation in Contexts of Change, Paris: Oxford Scholarship Online.

Urdal, H. 2006, ‘A Clash of Generations? Youth Bulges and Political Violence’, International Studies Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 3, pp.607-629.



How to Cite

Rehman, A., & Ghulam Behlol, M. (2022). Socio-Cultural Capital and Community Resilience: Perception of University Students about Violent Extremism in Pakistan. Journal of Development Policy Research & Practice (JoDPRP), 6(1), 57–69.