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October 2016

Hilary Pilkington contributes to EU review

(20 October 2016)

Professor Hilary Pilkington, School of Social Sciences, has warned a meeting of EU research leaders and policymakers that there were real challenges and concerns for social scientists in engaging in radicalisation research. The group of about 80 social scientists and EU officials had gathered to discuss how future research, under the Horizon 2020 programme, could contribute to a fuller understanding of violent extremism. 

Translating social science research findings into international policy is not an easy task, and Hilary argued for the importance the rich data gathered in fieldwork studies. She said: “We need to study the milieus in which radicalisation messages are encountered on an everyday basis. This should involve studying the non-radicalised as well as the radicalised. 

“Communities already exposed to constant surveillance understand radicalisation research as complicit in the cycle of production of Islamophobia; and many social-scientists are sceptical that research can do anything but further stigmatise.”