Actors and Narratives

What are the narratives of people who get involved in, and disengage from, terrorism? This Programme examines the narratives of people who get involved in, and disengage from, terrorism. The outputs will enrich our understanding of individual motivators, which will inform methods of threat assessments and intervention. Led by Dr Cerwyn Moore at the University of Birmingham.

The team spans two main disciplines – political science and psychology. The key themes it covers are:

  • Ideological variance and cultures of violence
  • Risk assessment including criminal and psychological pathways to extremism
  • Innovation and creativity in clandestine political groups
  • Icons and symbols in extremism
  • The emotional appeal of extremist narratives.

Cerwyn Moore – Analysing the emotional appeal of extremist narratives

  • Analysis of the ways in which extremist groups deploy narrative
  • Assessment of the emotional appeal – particularly in leadership statements – of extremism
  • Preliminary analysis of hostile actors and networks (foreign fighter networks in Syria and Iraq; State Threats such as Russia)
  • The research will be of use to practitioners dealing with online extremism and foreign fighter networks. The analysis may also be of use to those dealing with state threats.

Monica Lloyd – Risk assessment including criminogenic and psychological pathways to extremism

  • Deepening knowledge of the tools and approaches to Risk Assessment through the analysis of data. The research will help to validate tools and understand the application of effective measures
  • Analysis of mental health issues and extremism
  • Analysis of criminal pathways into extremism
  • The research will be of use to frontline professionals involved in assessing risk and those involved in preventative CT measures. It will also help validate methods for assessing psychological and criminological variables.

Principal Investigator

Dr Cerwyn Moore

Institution

University of Birmingham, UK

People

Outputs

Russia and Disinformation: Institutions and Actors (Summary)

19-027-01 Russia and Disinformation: Institutions and Actors (Summary)This CREST report summary investigates the institutions and actors involved in Russian disinformation. This CREST brief by Dr Cerwyn Moore, is one of four...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: Institutions and Actors (Full Report)

19-026-01 Russia and Disinformation: Institutions and Actors (Full Report)This CREST report investigates the institutions and actors involved in Russian disinformation. This CREST report by Cerwyn Moore, is one of four reports on...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: Maskirovka (Summary)

19-025-01 Russia and Disinformation: Maskirovka (Summary)This CREST brief by Dr Cerwyn Moore focuses on disinformation and Russia’s ‘strategic narrative’. This CREST brief investigates the phenomenon of disinformation in the...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: Maskirovka (Full Report)

19-024-01 Russia and Disinformation: Maskirovka (Full Report)This CREST report by Dr Cerwyn Moore, is one of four reports on Russia and Disinformation. This report focuses on disinformation and Russia’s ‘strategic...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Summary)

19-023-01 Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Summary)This CREST brief by Dr Cerwyn Moore looks at how Russian state disinformation operates in Ukraine. How does Russian state disinformation operate in Ukraine?...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Full Report)

Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Full Report) 19-022-01This CREST report by Dr Cerwyn Moore, is one of four reports on Russia and Disinformation and looks at how Russian state disinformation operates...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: The Case of the Caucasus (Summary)

This CREST Summary brief focuses on why the Caucasus is important, and what the Russian deployment of disinformation in the region tells us. How...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation: The Case of the Caucasus (Full Report)

This CREST report by Dr Cerwyn Moore, is one of four reports on Russia and Disinformation and looks at why the Caucasus is important,...Read More »

Russia and Disinformation

How does Russian state disinformation operate in the Caucasus region or Ukraine? To what extent can disinformation be traced to specific actors or agents...Read More »

‘Russia’ In Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

This chapter on ‘Russia’ is one of a series of case studies in the Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism. The following description is...Read More »

Broader, Vaguer, Weaker: The Evolving Ideology of the Caucasus Emirate Leadership

In October 2007, veteran Chechen field commander Dokka Umarov proclaimed the formation of the Caucasus Emirate (IK), formalising the victory of the North Caucasus...Read More »

The Rise and Fall of the English Defence League: Self-Governance, Marginal Members and the Far Right

What determines the success or failure of far-right organisations? This article uses new qualitative data to explain the sudden rise and subsequent decline of...Read More »

Between Caucasus and Caliphate: The Splintering of the North Caucasus Insurgency

In December 2014, several high-ranking field commanders from the Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK), an insurgent and designated terrorist group in Russia’s North Caucasus,...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 »

Actors and Narratives

Actors and NarrativesActors and Narratives by CREST Researcher Cerwyn Moore. This poster gives an overview of the programme ‘Actors and Narratives‘. It was first displayed at...Read More »

Explaining the Ideological Evolution of Insurgencies: The North Caucasus, 2007-2015

Explaining the Ideological Evolution of Insurgencies: The North Caucasus, 2007-2015Explaining the Ideological Evolution of Insurgencies: The North Caucasus, 2007-2015 by Mark Youngman. Youngman’s poster gives an overview of his research, which looks at...Read More »

New report on Russian-speaking Foreign Fighters

Existing data on Russian-speaking groups and individuals linked to the Islamic State is often inaccurate, according to CREST Researcher Cerwyn Moore and ESRC-funded PhD...Read More »

‘Russian-Speaking’ Fighters in Syria, Iraq and at Home: Consequences and Context (Full report)

This substantive report on Russian-speaking foreign fighters and Islamic State’s influence in the North Caucasus has been written by CREST Researcher Cerwyn Moore and...Read More »

‘Russian-Speaking’ Fighters in Syria, Iraq and at Home: Consequences and Context (Executive Summary)

This is the executive summary of a substantive report on Russian-speaking foreign fighters and Islamic State’s influence in the North Caucasus, by CREST Researcher...Read More »

‘Russian-Speaking’ Fighters in Syria, Iraq and at Home: Consequences and Context (Policy Brief)

This is the policy brief of a substantive report on Russian-speaking foreign fighters and Islamic State’s influence in the North Caucasus, written by CREST...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 »

Learning from ideological variance and change

What can the Islamist Caucasus Emirate group teach us about the ideology of insurgent groups? CREST Associate Researcher Mark Youngman seeks to find out,...Read More »

Lessons from the decline of the North Caucasus insurgency

IS weren’t the first to try and build a state. Mark Youngman looks at the decline of the North Caucasus insurgency to see what...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 »

Transnational Activism Through the Ages

Cerwyn Moore discusses the roles that transnational activists have played in past conflicts Although transnational activism has changed dramatically as a result of globalisation,...Read More »

Remainers and leavers: Foreign fighters after the ‘Islamic State’

While much has been written about ‘foreign fighters’, less attention has been paid to what happens to activists who have travelled to participate in...Read More »

After St Petersburg: Russia and the Threat from Central Asian Terror Networks

The investigation into the 3 April terrorist attack on the St Petersburg metro has focused on a man of Central Asian origin with possible...Read More »

Russia's domestic terrorism threat is serious, sophisticated and complex

The April 3 bombing on the St Petersburg metro was the highest-profile terror attack on Russian soil since a suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo...Read More »

Loyal footsoldiers – the attractions of EDL activism

Islamophobia is widespread in the UK. A 2015 YouGov poll found that over half of British voters think there is a fundamental clash between...Read More »

What role do women play in violent extremism?

Recent research on gender and extremism has shown that women in terror networks are not necessarily the victims or passive actors that they are...Read More »