Panel Series: A Spatial Analysis of Extremism in a UK Context

Free to Attend

Online

Dialogue Society is pleased to announce a six-part online panel series “A Spatial Analysis of Extremism in a UK Context” to examine some of the key and complex issues the UK faces from pre-existing and emerging forms of radicalisation and extremism in spaces across our society. In 2019, the UK saw 67 far-right terror attacks and plots, compared with 7 in France and 3 in Germany. These attacks were the highest recorded number in Europe. With growing concern over increasing hatred, radicalisation and extremism in the UK; from prisons to schools, online and offline platforms, the threat of extremism has shown that it knows no geographical, ethnic, age, social or religious boundaries. Extremist acts pose a threat to the cohesion of communities in Britain and raise questions about the effects that these acts will have on changing or even restricting the nature of British democracy.

Using case studies of pre-existing and emerging forms of extremism across society, this panel series expects to answer through dialogue the following questions:

  1. What is extremism, and do we need a new or expanded definition of the term?
  2. In which new or changing spaces are there new forms of extremism emerging?
  3. What are the government’s methods and policies for tackling current and emerging forms of extremism?
  4. Is there room for revision or improvement in the government’s methods and policies?
  5. Do online platforms facilitate the spread of forms of extremism and if so, how?
  6. How effective are the current laws surrounding online extremism?
  7. How, if any, should social media platforms be regulated to prevent extremism online?
  8. How do the challenges posed by these forms of extremism and hatred affect British democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms?

This panel series will build on the Dialogue Society’s previous works on extremism and radicalisation.

The first panel in the series “The challenges of defining and perceiving extremism in a UK context” will firstly review and evaluate the current definition of extremism proposed by the UK Government, before policies on combatting extremism are introduced and evaluated for their efficacy.

The following next three panels focus on pre-existing, emerging, or changing forms of extremism in football, climate change activism, and prisons. These panels will review and evaluate relevant policies and methods adopted by the Government to address the new forms of extremism in new or changing spaces. They will also discuss whether the government’s current definition of extremism is adequate for addressing these trends.

Lastly, the online dimension to extremism, used as both a primary or faciliatory method to carrying out extremism will be unpacked before the challenges of legislating and regulating these mediums are outlined.

Reflections and recommendations will be submitted from our panellists in each panel.

The culmination of this series will be the writing and publication of a policy paper using the interdisciplinary discussions raised by our experts.

Topics

Panel 1: Spatial Forms of Extremism – The Challenges of Defining and Perceiving Extremism in a UK Context

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 18:00

Objectives

  1. What are the key challenges surrounding defining ‘extremism’ across academia, policy and legislation in 2022?
  2. What is extremism and how does it prevail in certain spaces of society? Why does extremism surface in some spaces and not others? How does it differ from radicalisation and terrorism?
  3. How has extremism been perceived in mainstream media which may be affecting our understandings of the term?
  4. Is the current definition of extremism at risk of inciting extremist behaviours among individuals? How do extremists harness the media to spread their rhetoric and ideologies?
  5. What are the main policies in the UK towards countering extremism?
  6. Have these policies been effective in dealing with the threat of extremism?

Confirmed Speakers

  • Dr Elisa Orofino, Research Lead on Extremism and Counter-Terrorism at the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER), Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Dr Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies at the Centre for Hate Studies, Department of Criminology, at the University of Leicester.
  • Dr Tahir Abbas, Associate Professor in Terrorism and Political Violence at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University, Netherlands.
  • Nikoleta Gashi, Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, Dialogue Society

Panel 2: Understanding Hateful Extremism in the UK

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 18:00

Confirmed Speakers

  • Dr Craig McCann, Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right
  • Mike Ainsworth, Chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime to the National Police Chiefs Council
  • Aaliyah Hussain, Director and Founder, WeRise UK
  • Nikoleta Gashi, Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, Dialogue Society

Panel 3: Does English Football Have a Problem with Extremism?

Tuesday, 1st Feb 2022, 18:00

Confirmed Speakers

  • Prof. Paul Ian Campbell, Lecturer in Sociology, Leicester University
  • Dr Martha Newson, Future Leaders Fellow, Cognitive Anthropologist, The University of Kent School of Anthropology and Conservation and University of Oxford, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography
  • Dr Mark Doidge, Principal Research Fellow, School of Sport and Health Sciences, The University of Brighton
  • Nikoleta Gashi, Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, Dialogue Society

Panel 4: Error:403 Countering Online Extremism?

Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 18:00

Confirmed Speakers

  • Nikoleta Gashi, Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, Dialogue Society
  • Liam Duffy, Independent Advisor, Consultant and Researcher on Counterterrorism

Panel 5: Extremism Behind Bars

Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 18:00

Confirmed Speakers

TBC

Panel 6: New trends: Is Climate Change a peace and security issue?

Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 18:00

Confirmed Speakers

  • General Tom Middendorp, Chair, International Military Council on Climate and Security
  • Dr Bing Jones, Spokesperson, Insulate Britain
  • Nikoleta Gashi, Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, Dialogue Society