CREST Roundup: June 2018

CREST roundup june 2018

This is a roundup of what CREST has been up to in June 2018. You can stay up-to-date with all our work by signing up to the CREST Newsletter, and have CREST news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Three new CREST reports on diaspora

From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016

Three CREST-funded Thematic Reports have been published which examine political action among diaspora populations. 

Thematic Report One discussed how four analytical concepts, diaspora, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, and translocalism, have come to frame the academic discussion of overseas politics and the potential of these concepts to shed light on the relationship between mobility and political action.
Read, download and share this report here.

Thematic Report Two complements the previous report’s broad conceptual discussion by specifically focusing on an analysis of the context and drivers of political action among diaspora and refugee populations, and engaging with the term ‘refugee politics’.
Read, download and share this report here.

The final third Thematic Report analyses the growing ‘securitisation’ of refugees and other forcibly displaced populations and calls for greater consideration of structural vulnerabilities in the forced migration and displacement cycle that increase the risk of radicalisation, extremism and related political behaviours.
Read, download and share this report here.

Read more here.

Research team: Christopher McDowell, Valentina Aronica, Gemma Collantes-Celador, and Natasha De Silva.


Tweeting about #BASS18

For all those attending BASS18 the full agenda is now available online, along with details of our two keynote speakers. We are very much looking forward to seeing you there.

Get involved online – use the hashtag #BASS18. 

We’ll be tweeting from the event, to keep those of you who can’t attend updated. If you tweet, please join in the conversation (although when taking photos of presentations make sure you get the permission of presenters and other people in the photo first).

New staff

Paul Grasby – Research to Practice Fellow

We welcome Paul Grasby to CREST as a Research to Practice Fellow. Paul graduated in medicine and psychology, trained as a psychiatrist and subsequently held a Professor of Psychiatry post at Imperial College. Whilst at Imperial, Paul set up and ran a MRC sponsored  neuroscience/behavioural science research group for many years before joining the Home Office as a senior scientist in 2008.

At the Home Office, Paul led a team of social scientists, economists and operational researchers, undertaking counter terrorism research and analysis for policy colleagues in OSCT. Research projects covered the policy areas of Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare.

He retired from the Home Office in 2016 and now undertakes part-time consultancy work on CT analysis and research as well as maintaining his psychiatric practice. Paul also holds an Honorary Professorship in the School of Government and Society, College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham.

Out and about

Nicholas Ryder was an invited panellist for a working breakfast hosted by PwC and Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions on Tuesday 12 June in London.  Nicholas provided an overview of his research findings for his CREST, and another ESRC-funded project for which he is a Co-I. The panel were asked questions on the threat posed by Lone Wolf Terrorists, what are the typologies of such lone actors and what practical steps can the financial services sector take to counter act the financing of terrorism.

Ben Lee and Kim Knott organised a CREST workshop for security practitioners on ‘Reciprocal Radicalisation‘, in London. Reciprocal radicalisation is the idea that extremist groups fuel one another’s rhetoric and/or actions, including violence. It emerged as a concept after the 2001 riots in Northern England, and was further discussed following the establishment of the English Defence League in response to demonstrations by Islamist extremists in 2009. Despite finding a footing in both academic and policy circles (including the UK Government’s 2015 Counter-Extremism Strategy), the empirical evidence for reciprocal radicalisation has so far been mixed. Analyses suggest that relationships between extremist groups are more complex, and are mediated by the state, digital technology, and the news media.

As well as engaging critically with the concept, speakers at the workshop discussed a range of contemporary and historical cases, from Britain, Northern Ireland, France, Germany, and in various online spaces, and involving far right, Islamist, left-wing, and national separatist extremists. A summary and briefings from the workshop will be published shortly on

Jasjit Singh was invited by the West Midlands Sikh Police Association to present to 100+ police officers and other statutory organisations at ‘Is there an Emergence of Sikh Radicalisation in the UK?’ Jasjit was also a keynote speaker at Loughborough University talking about ‘The construction of ‘Sikh radicalisation’ in Britain

Ben Lee attended a conference at The University of Oxford on Combating Online Extremism: State, Private Sector, And Civil Society Responses at which he gave a presentation entitled Unknown Soldiers: Interviews with Informal Counter Messaging Activists in the UK.

Ben also attended a two-day workshop organised by as part of the Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories project and have a presentation on Conspiracy theories, extremism, state, and non-state actors.

Sarah Marsden spoke at the International conference on Desistance and Disengagement (London), on Measuring the Effectiveness of De-Radicalisation Interventions. The conference was organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

James Lewis and Simon Copeland gave papers at the Third Annual Postgraduate Conference of the Society for Terrorism Research, on ‘Future Trends in Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism’, held in Swansea on 6 June.

James is also currently undertaking a Policy Internship at the Home Office, funded by Research Councils UK (now UKRI).

Nicola Power wrote an article for The Conversation, with Liv Brown and Laura Boulton:
Terror Attacks: How Psychological Research Can Help Improve The Emergency Response.

Nicola also had a paper published in a special issue on The Science of Teamwork in American Psychologist: Power, N. (2018). Extreme teams: Toward a greater understanding of multiagency teamwork during major emergencies and disasters. American Psychologist, 73(4), 478-490.


Lecturer (Assistant Professor)/Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)
University of Bath

Applications are welcome from scholars with research interests in any IDO-related theme who are excited by the possibility of working in a multi-disciplinary, collegiate, environment and are committed to conducting high quality, impactful research and inspiring fantastic students with their teaching. While we have specific requirements for one post (ability to teach operations management), we are open to excellent applicants from any field who would be able contribute to our research.

Job description:
We are looking for collegiate individuals with a balanced portfolio of activities but applicants must have the ambition and ability to publish in top-tier international journals and, given that IDO research attracts significant levels of external funding, be prepared to actively seek grant income.

In addition to the research role, you will contribute to our range of highly rated undergraduate and postgraduate offerings. The Division’s teaching portfolio includes specialist MSc programmes in Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Business Analytics, and Innovation and Technology Management, as well as a range of specialist and non-specialist undergraduate units. Members of the IDO Division are also involved in a range of Executive Development offerings.

Click here for more information and details on how to apply.

Security Exploitation Manager
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

DSTL are looking for a leader to join their team and identify end user problems and support the creation of an enterprise approach to champion innovation into the hands of the end user.

Job description
You will form a core part of a flexible pool of staff in the Exploitation Team, contributing to the development of innovation exploitation in the security sector and the wider development of DASA. Working with the DASA Operations team you will support the design of competitions, hackathons, sandpits or other offerings to ensure exploitation is considered in competition design and throughout the competition lifecycle.

You will build and support productive relationships with DASA’s key security sector stakeholders and the end-user communities, developing an understanding of the various exploitation pathways across the security sector. You will support flexible, project-specific ‘Tiger Teams’ from user requirements setting and procurement communities to maximise the potential for funded project exploitation, recording exploitation successes (e.g. case studies) to create a success audit trail. You will also record exploitation barriers encountered and lessons identified.

Click here for more information and details on how to apply.

PhD Opportunity – Behavioural Analytics And Interpersonal Cohesion
Lancaster University

Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD studentship in the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), based in Psychology at Lancaster University. The studentship will be supervised by Professor Paul Taylor and Drs Stacey Conchie and David Ellis, and will begin in October 2018.

Project description:
This PhD will examine how social cohesion in groups can be measured directly from ubiquitous behavioural data streams, such as email, social media and phone usage data. By applying established measures (e.g., language mimicry) and new measures of social cohesion at a larger scale than studied previously, the PhD will seek to understand at scale how people navigate their social relations over time and across groups. The kinds of questions the studentship may address include: What are the cognitive or societal constrains on such relations? What are the role of particular psychological factors (e.g., identity, emotions) on cohesion? What is the impact of external events on cohesion and when does cohesion break down?

You will join a growing group of academic, postdoc and PhDs engaged in projects examining the use of analytics to inform our understanding of, and ability to measure, the interpersonal dynamics among security threat actors. As part of this group, you will be expected to contribute to meetings, present findings at academic conferences, and publish findings in academic journals. You will also be a member of the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) and be encouraged to engage with relevant stakeholders in the security and intelligence agencies, helping them understand the research and its relevance to their practice and policy.

Click here for more information and details on how to apply.

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All CREST artwork in one place

As part of our commitment to communicate our work as widely as possible, we created an official Flickr account to share the fantastic images, as well as showcase our more visual research such as mind maps and info-graphics, to a wider audience.

We’ve recently updated the platform to include even more images, which you can use for free, for print or online, as long as you attribute. Don’t know how to attribute? Click here.

See all the CREST images here.

Follow us on flickr

You can easily view or download our creative images, you don’t need a Flickr account to access them, but if you’re on Flickr be sure to follow us. By following us you’ll be updated as and when new collections of images are added.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Watch CREST researchers talk about their topic of study

Last year we uploaded several videos of our researchers, talking about their studies, to our YouTube channel. These videos are another way to the share our fantastic CREST-funded research on security threats.

A year on and we catch up with familiar faces on their latest findings and where their research is headed, as well as introduce some of our new commissioned research.

You can watch all the videos here.

How do families transmit terrorist ideologies from generation to generation? This is the subject of Simon Copeland‘s research. Simon is a doctoral student in his third year at Lancaster University. His CREST-funded research looks at the role played by family networks in the transmission of extremist ideas, beliefs and values.


DON’T FORGET to subscribe to our channel – click the big red subscribe button here when logged into youtube. 

By subscribing new videos will automatically appear in your feed, and it’ll be easier to to find any CREST video without having to search manually for our channel.

We encourage you to share these videos, which you can also view on our website here.

All of our videos are available under Creative Commons licence, which means you are free to share but please attribute by linking back to our youtube channel and website.


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