Research Chair in Diversity and Community Resilience, Deakin University

Professor Michele Grossman stepped down in March 2017 as Director, Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, to take up a new role as Professorial Research Chair in Diversity and Community Resilience at Deakin University’s Alfred Deakin Institute in Melbourne. Michele continues to serve as Honorary Professor of Cultural Studies in the College of Arts and Education, where she supervises PhD students and collaborates with VU colleagues on research projects.

Michele's role as Research Chair is to develop and lead research studies, projects and engagement initiatives in countering violent extremism, understanding the cultural dimensions of community resilience, building social cohesion in pluralistic societies, and extending engagement with community perspectives on how best to address social challenges around violence, community safety and cultural and religious bias. Michele’s research explores countering violent extremism (CVE) in relation to community resilience and cultural diversity.

She also researches the role of multimodality in violent extremist messaging strategies. Michele has led or co-led several influential Australian-based studies with significant policy and program impacts including Community and Radicalisation (2013), Harnessing Resilience Capital (2014), Community Reporting Thresholds (2015) and the Stocktake Research Project, a systematic review of social cohesion, community resilience and violent extremism literature (2016) with research partners including the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, Victorian Dept. of Premier and Cabinet, Defence Science and Technology Group, and the Australian Multicultural Foundation. Her current research focuses on the experience of the families of young people who join foreign conflicts, and on gendered experiences of violent extremism.

Personal webpage

Project information

As part of its activities, CREST identifies and funds innovative and forward-looking economic, behavioural and social science research that contributes to our understanding of contemporary security threats.

Michele Grossman is part of CREST funded commissioned project: Community Reporting Of Violent Extremist Activity And Involvement In Foreign Conflict. Read more about this project here.

Recent publications

Grossman, M., Peucker, M., Smith, D. and Dellal, H. (2016) The Stocktake Research Project: A systematic literature and selected program review on social cohesion, community resilience and violent extremism 2011-2015, Community Resilience Unit, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Melbourne, Vic.
Grossman, M. and Tahiri, H. (2015) ‘Community perceptions of radicalisation and violent extremism: an Australian perspective’, Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 10 (1), pp. 14-24.
Grossman, M. (2015) Community Reporting Thresholds: Sharing Information with Authorities Concerning Violent Extremist Activity and Involvement in Foreign Conflict, Canberra: Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee, 2015.
Grossman, M. (2014) ‘Disenchantments: Counter-terror narratives and conviviality’, Critical Studies on Terrorism, 7 (3), pp. 319-335.
Grossman, M. (2014) ‘Resilient multiculturalism? Diversifying Australian approaches to community resilience and cultural difference’ in Boulou Ebanda de B’beri and Fethi Mansouri (eds), Global Perspectives on Multiculturalism in the 21st Century, London: Routledge, pp. 161-180.
Johns, A, Grossman, M. and McDonald, K. (2014) ‘”More than a game”: The impact of sport-based youth mentoring schemes on developing resilience to violent extremism’, Social Inclusion 2 (2), pp. 57-70.



Bystander reporting to prevent violent extremism and targeted violence: learning from practitioners

The willingness of friends or family to share concerns about an ‘intimate’ preparing to perpetrate public, mass violence, such as violent extremism or targeted violence, is considered a possible part of preventative strategies. To understand what is needed to help intimate bystanders share information on potential acts of violent extremism or targeted violence, we conducted 25 semi-structured qualitative interviews with experts in intimate bystander reporting, including law enforcement, social service and mental health providers, faith-based leaders, staff in school threat assessment programs, and community practitioners in California and Illinois. Results showed reporting was impeded by multiple factors, including lack of knowledge about violent extremism and reporting processes, fear of being incorrect, difficulty distinguishing between violent extremism and mental illness, low trust in law enforcement, and lack of standardized reporting processes. Practitioners said reporting could be improved by several interventions, including increasing awareness about reporting processes, improving reporting methods and policies, training community members who can take reports, and increasing trust between community members and law enforcement. Improving bystander reporting for targeted violence and violent extremism in the U.S. requires collaboratively strengthening law enforcement and community capacities based on sound theory, best practices, and monitoring and evaluation.

(From the journal abstract)

David P. Eisenman, Stevan Weine, Nilpa D. Shah, Nicole V. Jones, Chloe Polutnik Smith, Paul Thomas & Michele Grossman (2022): Bystander reporting to prevent violent extremism and targeted violence: learning from practitioners, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, DOI: 10.1080/19434472.2022.2130960

Authors: Paul Thomas, Michele Grossman

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