Simon Copeland

Researcher, Swansea University

Simon is a researcher in extremism at the Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC) at Swansea University. His work focuses on terrorism, extremist narratives and networks. He completed his CREST-funded PhD at Lancaster University, supervised by Kim Knott, Cerwyn Moore and Matthew Francis looking at kin and peer networks and militant involvement. He has also worked as a research associate on a CREST-funded project looking at CONTEST.

He is primarily interested in how narratives can be used to understand participation in extremism. He has developed methodologies for analysing how terrorist groups use narratives in their propaganda as well as how individuals narrate their own engagement in violence. He also examines how stories spread within extremist networks and milieus.

Additionally, he has interests in how autobiographies and narrative texts can be used in research on conflict. Outside of academia, he has worked and interned at a number of political and security risk consultancies and think tanks focusing on terrorism.

Project information

CREST’s work is structured by five Programmes of activity. You can find out more information about our core programmes, as well as our commissioned projects here.

Simon Copeland is part of the Ideas, Beliefs And Values In Social Context programme. Read more about this project here.


More from Simon…

Evaluating Programmes to Prevent and Counter Extremism

The overwhelming majority of P/CVE programmes have not been subject to formal evaluation. Where evaluations have taken place, they can fall short of the...Read More »

Terrorism-Related Simulations

Terrorism-related simulations have been used for a variety of purposes including testing and validating existing plans and procedures; evaluating performance; improving the capabilities and...Read More »

The Relationship Between Mental Health Problems and Terrorism

Prevalence of mental health problems Current research challenges reductive, either-or approaches to the role and significance of mental health disorders in terrorism. Instead, it...Read More »

Behavioural-Focused Protective Security Programmes

Research on the motivations and barriers for public reporting of suspicious behaviours linked to terrorism – broadly defined as anything that appears out of...Read More »

Extremist Risk Assessment

Although there is broad consensus on the risk factors associated with violent extremism, in most cases they have not been properly evaluated. Few studies...Read More »

Economic Influences on Radicalisation

Debate remains in virtually all areas of research about the relationship between economics and radicalisation. Studies assessing the relationship between levels of terrorism and...Read More »

Right-Wing Terrorism: Pathways and Protective Factors

Ideology is not typically a strong motivator in right-wing extremists’ decision to join extremist groups. By contrast, the violence, music and aesthetics associated with...Read More »

Managing Terrorism-Related Offenders in Prison

Problems Identifying prison radicalisation and those driving it is difficult. Dedicated prison intelligence units that liaise with law enforcement and intelligence agencies can support...Read More »

Telling Stories of Terrorism: A Framework for Applying Narrative Approaches to the Study of Militant’s Self-Accounts

Narrative has recently garnered much attention in the study of terrorism but remains poorly understood. This paper offers some initial steps towards translating the...Read More »

Kin and Peer Contexts, Ideological Transmission and Extremist Involvement

Kin and Peer Contexts, Ideological Transmission and Extremist Involvement by CREST doctoral researcher Simon Copeland. This poster presents Copeland’s research which looks at the roles...Read More »

Reciprocal radicalisation briefings and report

CREST’s sister website, Radicalisation Research, has published a series of briefings on reciprocal radicalisation. A CREST report, by Professor Kim Knott, Dr Ben Lee...Read More »

Reciprocal Radicalisation

This CREST report, by Professor Kim Knott, Dr Ben Lee and Simon Copeland, highlights the topic of ‘reciprocal radicalisation’, which is the idea that...Read More »

After Islamic State Series: Workshop Report IV

This workshop report is the fourth in a series of reports that tackle the implications of the demise of the Islamic State. CREST has...Read More »

After Islamic State Series: Workshop Report III

This workshop report is the third in a series of reports that tackle the implications of the demise of the Islamic State. CREST has...Read More »

Kin and Peer Contexts, Ideological Transmission and the Move to Extremist Involvement

Kin and Peer Contexts, Ideological Transmission and the Move to Extremist Involvement by CREST Doctoral Researcher Simon Copeland. Simon’s poster presents his research on...Read More »

After Islamic State Series: Workshop Report II

This workshop report is the second in a series of reports that tackle the implications of the demise of the Islamic State. CREST has...Read More »

After Islamic State Series: Workshop Report I

This workshop report is the first in a series of reports that tackle the implications of the demise of the Islamic State. CREST has...Read More »

The Importance of Terrorists’ Families and Friends

Families are complicated and how they influence terrorists isn’t always clear. CREST PhD researcher Simon Copeland is investigating the role that families and friends...Read More »

Transmitting Terrorism: A Family Affair?

Simon Copeland investigates the transmission of extremist ideology within family and peer networks. Nearly 20 years after his father was convicted of helping plan...Read More »

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