Communications Director, CREST
Matthew heads up CREST’s work to translate and communicate its research to non-academic audiences. He edits CREST Security Review and with the communications team produces CREST outputs such as this website, the CREST guides and other resources. His research focuses on the move to violence in religious and non-religious groups. In particular he researches the significance of shared non-negotiable (or sacred) beliefs through coding the public utterances of members and leaders of groups. His case-studies have included Aum Shinrikyo, al Qaeda, the Red Army Faction, Agonshu, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and Hizb ut-Tahrir.
He has previously researched minority faith groups as well as religious literacy. He founded and is Editor of the website RadicalisationResearch.org, which brings high-quality academic research on radicalisation and extremism to the attention of people working in policy and media settings.
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.
Matthew Francis is part of the Ideas, Beliefs And Values In Social Context programme. Read more about this project here.
Dinham, A., Francis, M. and Shaw, M. (2017). Towards a Theory and Practice of Religious Literacy: A Case Study of Religion and Belief Engagement in a UK University. Religions 8 (12).
Francis, M., van Eck Duymaer van Twist, A. (2015). Religious literacy, radicalisation and extremism. In A. Dinham & M. Francis (Eds.) Religious literacy in policy and practice. Bristol: Policy Press p. 257-270.
Francis, M. (2015) Why the “sacred” is a better resource than “religion” for understanding terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence. (Early online publication). DOI:10.1080/09546553.2014.976625.
Dinham, A., Francis, M. (2015). Religious literacy in policy and practice.Bristol: Policy Press.
Francis, M., Knott, K., “Return? It never left.”: exploring the “sacred” as a resource for bridging the gap between the religious and the secular. In Kutz, C., Riss, H., Roy, O. 2015 Religious norms in the public sphere. Florence, Italy: European University Institute.
Knott, K., McFadyen, A., McLoughlin, S., Francis, M. (2006). The Roots, Practices and Consequences of Terrorism: A Literature Review of Research in the Arts & Humanities, Final Report (for the Home Office). University of Leeds.