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Monica Lloyd
The A–Z Of Extremism Risk Assessment
Article
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5 min read
Report
James Lewis, Sarah Marsden
Countering Violent Extremism Interventions: Contemporary Research
Report
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7 min read
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Stephane Baele, Lewys Brace, Travis Coan
Mining The Chans
Guide
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6 min read
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Florence Keen, Blyth Crawford, Guillermo Suarez-Tangil
Memetic Irony and the Promotion of Violence within Chan Cultures
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Florence Keen
After 8chan
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6 min read
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Simon Copeland, Sarah Marsden
The Relationship Between Mental Health Problems and Terrorism
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3 min read
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Sarah Marsden, Simon Copeland
Economic Influences on Radicalisation
Report
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3 min read
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Sarah Marsden, Simon Copeland
Right-Wing Terrorism: Pathways and Protective Factors
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4 min read
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Blyth Crawford
/K/ and the Visual Culture of Weapons Boards
Article
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10 min read
Guide
Neil Ferguson, James McAuley
The Violent Extremist Lifecycle: 12 Lessons from Northern Ireland
Guide
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5 min read
Guide
Sarah Marsden
Deradicalisation Programmes: Introductory guide
Guide
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1 min read
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Kim Knott, Ben Lee
Ideological Transmission: Political and Religious Organisations
Report
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10 min read
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Kim Knott, Simon Copeland, Ben Lee
Reciprocal Radicalisation
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1 min read
Article
Samantha McGarry
The Far Right and Reciprocal Radicalisation
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4 min read
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Christopher McDowell, Valentina Aronica, Gemma Collantes-Celador, Natasha De Silva
Asylum, Security, and Extremism
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4 min read
Article
Sheryl Prentice
Influence In Extremist Messaging
Article
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4 min read
Article
Suzanne Newcombe
Disengagement: Lessons from Cults and Sectarian Groups
Article
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4 min read
Article
Sarah Marsden
Reintegrating Extremists: ‘Deradicalisation’ and Desistance
Article
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5 min read
Article
Neil Ferguson
Understanding Engagement in Violent Extremism in Northern Ireland
Article
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3 min read
Article
Jasjit Singh
Sikh Activism in Britain
Article
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4 min read
Report
Jasjit Singh
The idea, context, framing, and realities of ‘Sikh radicalisation’ in Britain
Report
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6 min read
Article
Jasjit Singh
Religious transmission among young adults in the digital age
Article
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4 min read
Article
Stephane Baele, Katharine Boyd, Travis Coan
Extremist Prose as Networks
Article
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3 min read
Article
John Horgan
The Lost Boys
Article
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6 min read
Report
Kim Knott, Ben Lee
Ideological Transmission: Families
Report
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5 min read
Article
Kim Knott, Ben Lee
How does the family pass on religion?
Article
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3 min read
Article
Simon Copeland
Transmitting Terrorism: A Family Affair?
Article
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3 min read
Article
Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist
How beliefs may come and go: a brief overview of a ‘cult career’
Article
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3 min read
Article
Aristotle Kallis
‘Reverse waves’: how radical ideas spread and take hold
Article
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4 min read
Article
Ben Lee, Elizabeth Morrow
Transmission in context
Article
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4 min read
Article
John F. Morrison
Transmitting Legitimacy and Victimhood: Violent Dissident Irish Republicanism
Article
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3 min read
Article
Lynn Davies
Disrupting transmission of extremist messages through education
Article
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3 min read
Article
Kim Knott
Why transmission?
Article
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3 min read
Narratives in Action: Modelling the Types and Drivers of Sikh Activism in Diaspora

Using data gathered for an investigation of “Sikh radicalisation in Britain”, in this article I develop a typology of different types of activism among Sikhs in diaspora based on an analysis of historic and contemporary media sources (newspapers, radio, television, online), academic literature, ethnographic fieldwork and a series of semi-structured interviews with self-identifying Sikh activists. I assess the reasons behind a variety of different incidents involving Sikh activists, how Sikh activists view the drivers of their activism and to what extent this activism can be regarded as being “religiously motivated”. I critique existing typologies of “religious activism” by developing a typology of Sikh activism which challenges the distinction often made between “religious” and “political” action. I argue that “religiously motivated actions” must be understood in conjunction with narratives, incidents and issues specific to particular religious traditions and that generic motivations for these actions cannot be applied across all religious traditions.

(From the journal abstract)


Singh, J. (2020b). Narratives in Action: Modelling the Types and Drivers of Sikh Activism in Diaspora. Religions, 11(10), 539.

https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11100539
Radicalization: Trajectories in Research, Policy and Practice

This focus section provides welcome evidence of the strength of research and practice on radicalization in Germany and reflects the dynamics of debates within international policy and scholarship. The papers focus on a range of areas of research on radicalization and violent extremism covering micro-, meso- and macro-level processes alongside methods for countering and preventing violent extremism. Although the papers clearly articulate the challenges associated with carrying out research in this field, they also demonstrate the increasing scope of scholarship that is helping to explain, interpret and respond to violent extremism. By examining the wide-ranging influences on radicalization, this focus section extends an invitation to both broaden and deepen scholarship in the field: broadening research to develop more interdisciplinary, integrative frameworks to help interpret radicalization processes, and deepening it by interrogating and test-ing existing models and frameworks to develop more robust explanations of the pathways into and out of violence. This effort will be enhanced by greater use of theory from comparable areas of scholarship and by sustaining a research culture that nurtures rigorous, innovative methodologies able to capture the com-plexities of violent extremism. The papers in the focussection demonstrate that the field is in robust shapeand sets the stage for further research on radicaliza-tion and violent extremism.

(From the journal abstract)


Kim Knott & Benjamin Lee, 2020. Ideological Transmission in Extremist Contexts: Towards a Framework of How Ideas Are Shared. Politics, Religion & Ideology.

https://doi.org/10.4119/ijcv-3811
Fascist aspirants: Fascist Forge and ideological learning in the extreme-right online milieu

Learning in extremist settings is often treated as operational, with little regard to how aspiring participants in extremist settings engage with complex and abstract ideological material. This paper examines learning in the context of the amorphous network of digital channels that compose the extreme-right online milieu. Through an in-depth qualitative analysis, we explore how well the prevailing model of extremist ideological learning (in ‘communities of practice’) accounts for the behaviour of aspiring participants of Fascist Forge, a now-defunct extreme-right web forum. The findings suggest that some of the social aspects of communities of practice have been replicated in the online setting of Fascist Forge. However, for a combination of technical and ideological reasons, the more directed and nurturing aspects of learning have not. Several issues are raised about the role of ideological learning in online communities, notably the open accessibility of extremist material, the lack of ideological control leading to potential mutation and innovation by self-learners, and the role of digital learning in the preparation, shaping and recruitment of individuals for real world organising and activism.

(From the journal abstract)


Lee, B., & Knott, K. (2021). Fascist aspirants: Fascist Forge and ideological learning in the extreme-right online milieu. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 1–25.

https://doi.org/10.1080/19434472.2020.1850842
Social movements, structural violence, and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland: The role of loyalist paramilitaries

This article analyzes how social movements and collective actors can affect political and social transformation in a structurally violent society using the case study of Northern Ireland. We focus, in particular, on the crucial role played by collective actors within the loyalist community (those who want to maintain Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom) in bringing about social and political transformation in a society blighted by direct, cultural, and structural violence both during the conflict and subsequent peace process. Drawing on data obtained through in-depth interviews with loyalist activists (including former paramilitaries), the article demonstrates the role and impact of loyalists and loyalism in Northern Ireland’s transition. We identify 5 conflict transformation challenges addressed by loyalist actors in a structurally violent society: de-mythologizing the conflict; stopping direct violence; resisting pressure to maintain the use of violence; development of robust activist identity; and the measurement of progress through reference to the parallel conflict transformation journey of their former republican enemies. The Northern Ireland case demonstrates the necessity for holistic conflict transformation strategies that attempt to stop not only direct attacks but also the cultural and structural violence that underpins and legitimize them. In so doing, the article contributes to a broader understanding of how and why paramilitary campaigns are brought to an end.

(From the journal abstract)


Ferguson, N., McDaid, S., & McAuley, J. W. (2018). Social movements, structural violence, and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland: The role of loyalist paramilitaries. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 24(1), 19–26.

https://doi.org/10.1037/pac0000274
The ‘tarrant effect’: What impact did far-right attacks have on the 8chan forum?

This paper analyses the impact of a series of mass shootings committed in 2018–2019 by right-wing extremists on 8chan/pol, a prominent far-right online forum. Using computational methods, it offers a detailed examination of how attacks trigger shifts in both forum activity and content. We find that while each shooting is discussed by forum participants, their respective impact varies considerably. We highlight, in particular, a ‘Tarrant effect’: the considerable effect Brenton Tarrant’s attack of two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, had on the forum. Considering the rise in far-right terrorism and the growing and diversifying online far-right ecosystem, such interactive offline-online effects warrant the attention of scholars and security professionals.

(From the journal abstract)


[SB1] 

Baele, S. J., Brace, L., & Coan, T. G. (2020). The ‘tarrant effect’: What impact did far-right attacks have on the 8chan forum? Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 1–23. [SB2] .

 

 

https://doi.org/10.1080/19434472.2020.1862274
Lethal Images: Analyzing Extremist Visual Propaganda from ISIS and Beyond

Violent extremist groups regularly use pictures in their propaganda. This practice, however, remains insufficiently understood. Conceptualizing visual images as amplifiers of narratives and emotions, the present article offers an original theoretical framework and measurement method for examining the synchronic and diachronic study of the manipulative use of images by violent extremist groups. We illustrate this framework and method with a systematic analysis of the 2,058 pictures contained in the Islamic State's propaganda magazines targeting Western audiences, exposing the “visual style” of the group, and highlighting the trends and shifts in the evolution of this style following developments on the ground.

(From the journal abstract)


[SB1] Baele, S. J., Boyd, K. A., & Coan, T. G. (2020). Lethal Images: Analyzing Extremist Visual Propaganda from ISIS and Beyond. Journal of Global Security Studies, 5(4), 634–657.

 

https://doi.org/10.1093/jogss/ogz058
Staying Engaged in Terrorism: Narrative Accounts of Sustaining Participation in Violent Extremism

Research exploring radicalization pathways and how and why people become involved in terrorism has expanded since the 9/11 attacks. Likewise, over the last decade research exploring de-radicalization and desistence from terrorism has grown and expanded in an attempt to promote exit from extremist or terror groups.

However, research studies on how individuals sustain engagement in terrorism and their involvement with extremist organizations, often in the face of great adversity, are absent from the body of research.

To address this scarcity of research this study analyzed accounts of engagement in violent extremism produced by Northern Irish loyalist and republican paramilitaries in order to explore how their paramilitary lifestyle, perpetration of acts of political violence and the pressure from countering threats posed by rival groups, and the State security forces impacted on them.

The analysis utilized a hybrid of thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The themes raised through the analysis reflected the psychological, social and economic hardship associated with this lifestyle. The narrative accounts also illustrated psychological changes associated to engagement in violence and from insulation within tightly knit extremist groups.

As most of the participants faced incarceration during their paramilitary careers, themes also reflected on the impact imprisonment had on them. The themes explored factors that sustained their involvement, including the role of identity development and identity fusion in sustaining their extremism, the impact of insulated group membership, feelings of efficacy, dehumanization processes, community support, and beliefs in the utility of violence.

(From the journal abstract)


Neil Ferguson & James W. McAuley, 2020. Staying engaged in terrorism: narrative accounts of sustaining participation in violent extremism. Frontiers in psychology.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01338

ISIS Propaganda: A Full-Spectrum Extremist Message

This book offers a comprehensive overview and analysis of the Islamic State's use of propaganda.

Combining a range of different theoretical perspectives from across the social sciences, and using rigorous methods, the authors trace the origins of the Islamic State's message, laying bare the strategic logic guiding its evolution, examining each of its multi-media components, and showing how these elements work together to radicalize audiences' worldviews.

This volume highlights the challenges that this sort of "full-spectrum propaganda" raises for counter terrorism forces. It is not only a one-stop resource for any analyst of IS and Salafi-jihadism, but also a rich contribution to the study of text and visual propaganda, radicalization and political violence, and international security.

(From the book abstract)


Stephane J. Baele, Katharine A. Boyd, and Travis G. Coan. 2020. ‘ISIS Propaganda: A Full-Spectrum Extremist Message’. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190932459 

Ideological Transmission in Extremist Contexts: Towards a Framework of How Ideas Are Shared

Despite their centrality in academic and policy debates about radicalization and political violence, ideologies have been conceived narrowly, as cognitive, top-down, coherent and systematic.

In general, those who have used the concept of ideology have failed to draw on ideological theory or on recent insights about its practice and embodiment, or location in space and time.

Our interest is less in the content of ideology than in how it is shared by those for whom it matters. We offer an interpretive framework, based on six key questions about ideological transmission: What ideas, beliefs, and values are shared, how and why, by whom, and in which spatial and temporary contexts?

Following a discussion about the methodological pros and cons of the framework, it is tested on a series of interviews with members of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese religious group responsible for the Tokyo subway attack in 1995. We assess the strengths and limitations of the framework for analysing the various dimensions of ideological transmission before considering what it adds to our understanding of the relationship between extreme beliefs and violent behaviour.

(From the journal abstract)


Kim Knott & Benjamin Lee, 2020. Ideological Transmission in Extremist Contexts: Towards a Framework of How Ideas Are Shared. Politics, Religion & Ideology.

https://doi.org/10.1080/21567689.2020.1732938
Radicalization or Reaction: Understanding Engagement in Violent Extremism in Northern Ireland

Over the last decade various theoretical models of radicalization or pathways into engagement in violent extremism have been developed. However, there is a dearth of primary data based on direct contact with violent extremists to test these models.

In order to address this weakness, we analyzed accounts of engagement in violent extremism produced by former Northern Irish loyalist and republican paramilitaries to explore their understanding of how and why they engaged in this seemingly politically motivated violence.

A thematic analysis incorporating aspects of interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed to gain an understanding of these accounts. While the analysis of the interview transcripts produced findings that share similarities with many of the theoretical models, they challenge the importance of ideological radicalization in fueling initial engagement in violent extremism. Instead, the results demonstrate the importance of collective identity, reaction to events, perceived threats, community grievance, and peer and family influences in fueling initial engagement with the armed groups. Insulation and small‐group pressures within the organizations then amplify identity, threat perceptions, and biases, which increase feelings of efficacy and engagement in violence.

Finally, the findings discuss the role of imprisonment in ideologically radicalizing the participants, which in turn allows the paramilitaries to both sustain and rationalize their violent extremism.

(From the journal abstract)


Neil Ferguson & James W. McAuley, 2019. Radicalization or Reaction: Understanding Engagement in Violent Extremism in Northern Ireland. Political Psychology.https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12618

Applying the Study of Religions in the Security Domain: Knowledge, Skills, and Collaboration

Since the 1990s, scholars of religion on both sides of the Atlantic have been drawn into engagement with law enforcement agencies and security policymakers and practitioners, particularly for their expertise on new religious movements and Islam. Whilst enabling researchers to contribute to real-world challenges, this relationship has had its frustrations and difficulties, as well as its benefits and opportunities. Drawing on examples from the UK, Canada, and the US, I set out the relationship between religion and the contemporary security landscape before discussing some of the key issues arising in security research partnerships. I then turn to the question of knowledge exchange and translation in the study of religions, developing the distinction between ‘know what’ (knowledge about religions and being religiously literate), ‘know why’ (explaining religions and making the link to security threats), and ‘know how’ (researcher expertise and skills in engagement with practitioners).

(From the journal abstract)


Kim Knott. 2018. ‘Applying the Study of Religions in the Security Domain: Knowledge, Skills, and Collaboration’. Journal of Religious and Political Practice, 4 (3): 354–73. https://doi.org/10.1080/20566093.2018.1525901.

Racialisation, ‘Religious Violence’ and Radicalisation: The Persistence of Narratives of ‘Sikh Extremism

Recent years have seen concerns raised in media and by policymakers about rising levels of ‘Sikh extremism’ and ‘Sikh radicalisation’ in Western Sikh diasporas.

In this article I analyse why these concerns persist, particularly given the general non-violent nature of ‘Sikh militancy’ (Wallace [[2011]]. “Sikh Militancy and Non-Violence.” In Sikhism In Global Context, edited by Pashaura Singh, 122–144. Oxford University Press) and the relatively few incidents of terrorism beyond those which took place during the height of Sikh militancy in the 1980s.

I argue that these concerns are a consequence of an underlying ‘anxiety about anti-assimilationist religious others’ impacted by (a) the racialisation of religious minorities which began in the colonial period, (b) a specific type of ‘Indian secularism’ which frames Indian legislation and media reporting and (c) the post 9/11 securitisation and increased surveillance of Sikh bodies as part of the ‘War on Terror’ with its concerns about ‘religious violence’ and the necessity of the secular nation state to ensure that any such violence is suitably policed.

This article will be of interest to those examining the racialisation and representations of religious minorities in Western liberal democracies and the impact of securitisation policies on these communities.

(From the journal abstract)


Jasjit Singh, 2019. Racialisation, ‘religious violence’ and radicalisation: the persistence of narratives of ‘Sikh extremism’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2019.1623018

Radicalization, the Internet and Cybersecurity: Opportunities and Challenges for HCI

The idea that the internet may enable an individual to become radicalized has been of increasing concern over the last two decades. Indeed, the internet provides individuals with an opportunity to access vast amounts of information and to connect to new people and new groups.

Together, these prospects may create a compelling argument that radicalization via the internet is plausible. So, is this really the case? Can viewing ‘radicalizing’ material and interacting with others online actually cause someone to subsequently commit violent and/or extremist acts? In this article, we discuss the potential role of the internet in radicalization and relate to how cybersecurity and certain HCI ‘affordances’ may support it.

We focus on how the design of systems provides opportunities for extremist messages to spread and gain credence, and how an application of HCI and user-centered understanding of online behavior and cybersecurity might be used to counter extremist messages.

By drawing upon existing research that may be used to further understand and address internet radicalization, we discuss some future research directions and associated challenges.

(From the journal abstract)


Hinds, Joanne, and Adam Joinson. 2017. 'Radicalization, the Internet and Cybersecurity: Opportunities and Challenges for HCI'. In Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy and Trust, 481–93. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Cham. https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/publications/radicalization-the-internet-and-cybersecurity-opportunities-and-c

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