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Education minister defies PM over terrorism studies

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French education minister, has defended funding for research on terrorism, distancing herself from claims that sociological explanations of violent acts are effectively excuses for them.

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Vallaud-Belkacem’s views are in contrast with those of her own prime minister Manuel Valls who has repeatedly stated his opposition to academic analyses of the causes of terrorism. She insisted that rather than turning away from the challenges posed by radicalisation, researchers were “getting to grips with the reality of the situation and trying to understand it”.

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