Joel Busher

Research Fellow, Coventry University

Joel Busher is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University. His research examines, 1) the social ecology of political violence and anti-outsider politics, and 2) the implementation of counter-terrorism policy and its societal impacts.

His work centres on the micro- and meso-level processes of collective action – the rituals that shape and comprise our everyday lives; the cognitive and moral orders that we make, break and patch together again; and the emotional rules and rhythms of our lives – and how these give rise to, exacerbate or mitigate divisive social relations.

In his work on anti-minority mobilisations he addresses questions about how and why people become involved in anti-minority protest, and what sustains, energises or undermines such protests. His book, The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League (Routledge) was joint winner of the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, 2016.

His other current research interests include: the processes of interactive escalation, non-escalation and de-escalation between movements, counter-movements and the state; the implementation of the Prevent duty in schools and colleges in England and Wales; and how Brexit is playing out in British ‘expat’ communities living in Spain.

Personal webpage



  • Busher, J. (2016) The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League. Routledge: Democracy and Extremism Series.
  • Ashe, S., J. Busher, G. Macklin & A. Winter. (eds.), (2018). Researching the Far Right: Theory, Method and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge


  • Busher, J. (forthcoming – 2017) Why even misleading identity claims matter: The evolution of the English Defence League. Political Studies
  • Busher, J., and G. Macklin (2015) Interpreting ‘cumulative extremism’: Six proposals for enhancing conceptual clarity. Terrorism and Political Violence 27(5) 884-905
  • Macklin, G., and J. Busher (2015) Tracing ‘cumulative extremism’ in four waves of movement – countermovement contest in Britain. Behavioural Science of Terrorism and Political Aggression 7(1) 53-68

Book Chapters

  • Busher, J. (2013) Grassroots activism in the English Defence League: Discourse and public (dis)order. In M. Taylor, M. Currie & D. Holbrook (Eds.) Extreme Right Wing Political Violence and Terrorism. London: Continuum, 65-84
  • Busher, J. (2012) ‘There are none sicker than the EDL’: Narratives of racialisation and resentment from Whitehall and Eltham, London. In D. Briggs (Ed.) The English Riots of 2011: A Summer of Discontent. Hook: Waterside Press. 237-256.

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