Ideas, Beliefs and Values in Social Context

Where and how are extremist ideologies transmitted and young people radicalised? This Programme improves our understanding of where and how extremist ideologies are transmitted and young people are radicalised, in order for de-radicalisation strategies and counter-narratives to be better designed and targeted. Led by Professor Kim Knott at Lancaster University.

This programme examines the backcloth of economic, political, societal and global security perspectives that shape the perceptions and realities of security threats.

Through original research, knowledge synthesis and transfer – including workshops and roundtables, the programme aims to improve understanding of the conditions under which extremist ideologies are transmitted, individuals and groups are radicalised, and a minority make the move to violence.

Better knowledge of the process, locations, events and relationships involved in ideological transmission is vital for future development and targeting of interventions, disruption, and counter-narratives.

Knowledge synthesis: The role of families in ideological transmission

It has long been assumed that ideology is passed from parent to child, however empirical support for this is mixed. Our review of the literature has found that the evidence shows that:

  • Concrete principles, such as political and religious affiliation and preference, are more successfully transferred between generations than more abstract ones, such as values
  • Family members exert different effects on transmission
  • Family agreement on beliefs and values can boost transmission, as can the salience of issues
  • Some methods (e.g. rote learning and regular ritual) more effective than others
  • Children are not passive agents in the process; they are actively involved
  • Offspring sometimes defy parents and resist their influence
  • The transmission of hatred differs across groups: social revolutionary terrorists are generally more likely to disagree with and defy parents; national-separatist terrorists more likely to feel they are righting the wrongs experienced by earlier generations.

Original research

  • Kin and peer contexts, ideological transmission and the move to extremist involvement This doctoral project enhances understanding of the ideological and social impact of family members and friends by connecting social network analysis of terrorist individuals and groups, psychological research on terrorist biographies, and studies of intergenerational and peer-to-peer transmission.
  • Ideological transmission on university campuses This project will explore aspects of the development of religious identities and extremist ideas on university campuses.
  • Refugees, social identity and resilience This doctoral project examines what resilience looks like within refugee communities. What are the key social identities that operate, and how do they function together to influence a sense of self? How do social identities effect how adversity is perceived and experienced? Do social identities offer resources to draw from in meeting these adversities?
  • Grassroots counter messaging online: building resistance in civil society This project will deepen understanding of counter messaging and the types of content created by individuals outside officially recognised programmes. What are the motivations of activists who produce counter messages, and how effective is their content? What are the risks and rewards they face?
  • Joint decision making in real world emergencies Ongoing research on how emergency response teams operate in the real-world and what are the core challenges to command decision making. Current findings suggest the need for goal clarity, clearly defining roles and drawing on agency-specific expertise.
  • Gender and violent extremism This doctoral project examines the gendered roles, mechanisms and practices which support violent extremism. Can underlying structures, drivers and beliefs be identified, and how and when do they differ for men and women? How have women’s roles as enablers of terrorist engagement or obstacles to disengagement changed?
 

Radicalisation Research

CREST funds and supports the public information website Radicalisation Research which provides expert scholarly articles and summaries on radicalisation, extremism, fundamentalism and terrorism, http:/www.radicalisationresearch.org

Principal Investigator

Professor Kim Knott

Institution

Lancaster University, UK

People

Outputs…

New resources on British Muslims

CREST has published a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. These resources include a full report...Read More »

British Muslims | Full Report

This report is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. This report synthesises open...Read More »

British Muslims | Executive Summary

This report is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. This is the executive...Read More »

British Muslims | Gender and generations

This guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. Muslim women in the...Read More »

British Muslims | Families

This guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. The family is the...Read More »

British Muslims | Mosques

This guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. Mosques provide space for...Read More »

British Muslims | Demography and communities

This guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. In 2011, there were...Read More »

British Muslims | Charities and organisations

This guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. In addition to mosques...Read More »

British Muslims | Sectarian Movements

Sectarian MovementsThis guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. In the UK today,...Read More »

British Muslims | A history

This guide is part of a series of new resources giving an overview of Muslims and Islam in the UK. There have been Muslims...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 »

Communications Poster

Communicating CREST research by Communications Director, Matthew Francis. Our world-leading research is irrelevant if practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders do not get to hear...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 »

Mindmap: Ideological Transmission

Mindmap Ideological TransmissionAlthough there is no universally accepted model that explains ideological transmission, socialisation is a process whereby society’ norms, values and traditions are transmitted. Primary...Read More »

Ideas, beliefs and values in social context

Ideas, beliefs and values in social contextIdeas, beliefs and values in social context by CREST Researcher Kim Knott. This poster gives an overview of the programme, which examines the backcloth...Read More »

New Report on Ideological Transmission – Peers, education and prisons

A new report launched today is the second in a series of reports on ideological transmission. CREST has launched the second in a series...Read More »

Ideological Transmission II: Peers, education and prisons (Full Report)

This CREST report, by Professor Kim Knott and Dr Benjamin Lee, is the second in a series of synthetic research reports on ideological transmission...Read More »

Ideological Transmission II: Peers, education and prisons (Executive Summary)

This is the executive summary of the full report, by Professor Kim Knott and Dr Benjamin Lee, on ideological transmission in the context of...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 »

Understanding the far-right landscape

Benjamin Lee demonstrates that, although the vast majority of far-right activists are non-violent, far-right activism has security implications in the UK and globally. Developing...Read More »

CREST Guide: Understanding the Far-Right Landscape

A new CREST guide by Dr Benjamin Lee gives an introduction to the far-right in the UK, including an analysis of some of the...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 »

Grassroots counter messaging in the UK

How can both top-down and bottom-up approaches to counter messaging learn from each other? CREST researcher Ben Lee presents an insight into his research...Read More »

What do Islamic extremists mean?

Jihad is a term that we hear often, in martyrdom videos, Islamic State magazines and on the front pages of Western newspapers. But ‘jihad’...Read More »

Are converts to Islam more likely to become extremists?

CREST researchers Matthew Francis and Kim Knott write about the process of conversion in Islam and challenge the idea that converts are likely to...Read More »

Ideological Transmission I: Families (Executive Summary)

This report is the executive summary of the first of a series of synthetic reviews on ideological transmission produced by the Centre for Research...Read More »

Ideological Transmission I: Families (Full Report)

This CREST report is the first of a series of synthetic reviews on ideological transmission produced by Kim Knott and Benjamin Lee. It focuses...Read More »

How does the family pass on religion?

CREST researchers Kim Knott and Benjamin Lee look at how families transmit and reinforce religious and political ideologies. We get religion from our parents,...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 »

Glossary: islamic extremist material

This is a short guide to terms and phrases frequently found in Islamist extremist material. The terms in this glossary are not used exclusively...Read More »

Why transmission?

Kim Knott explains what we can learn from studying the transmission of ideas, beliefs and values. Studying transmission focuses attention on how, where and...Read More »

Islam: Conversion

A guide to the process of converting to Islam, why some people choose to convert, what they experience – good and bad – and...Read More »

When does inconsistency matter?

Does it matter when someone seems to change their story from one interview to another – if they’ve added some new information or contradict...Read More »

How unexpected questions can catch out liars

Aldert Vrij and Matthew Francis write about how an interview technique – asking unexpected questions – can help catch out liars. One of the...Read More »

Understanding the counter-jihad

The idea that the West and Islam are at war isn’t limited to a few sidelined activists. It’s an idea that has played a...Read More »

CREST Primer: The counter jihad movement

This CREST Primer is a guide to the Counter Jihad Movement – a loose network of groups and individuals who believe that the West...Read More »

What are the Five Pillars of Islam?

A lot of what most people think they know about Islam is found in the media, where tales of fundamentalism and violence are the...Read More »

CREST Guide Islam: The Five Pillars

A guide introducing the five pillars of Islam, the basic requirements of Islamic practice, and the teachings associated with them. The five pillars constitute...Read More »

The Cognitive Interview: How Research has improved Practice

How has research improved the practice of interviewing? Matthew Francis and Emma Barrett look at how new techniques are helping police in the UK...Read More »

What’s the difference between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims?

Understanding the differences between the two most populous branches of Islam is essential for comprehending many of the geo-political conflicts in the Middle East...Read More »

Sunni and Shi‘a Islam: Differences and relationships

A guide setting out the fundamental differences and similarities between Sunni and Shi’a Islam. Useful to help understand Islam as well as the tensions...Read More »

Terrorists’ use of messaging applications

Matthew Francis and Emma Barrett look at how emerging technologies have changed terrorist behaviour in the past and suggest that we should think about...Read More »

One peaceful march doesn't change Pegida's disturbing ideology

CREST researcher Dr Benjamin Lee talks about the Pegida march that took place in Birmingham on February 6 and how they sit within the...Read More »

Research drives understanding and disruption of terrorism

Dr Matthew Francis, Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University looks at how recent research in universities is driving the understanding, countering and mitigation of...Read More »

Paris attacks: there is no simple explanation

The French authorities have named one of the attackers who terrorised Paris on November 13 as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a French national who was...Read More »