Understanding Hateful Extremism in the UK

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend


Aaliyah Hussain

Director and Founder, WeRise UK

Dr Craig McCann

Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right

Iysha Arun

Research Fellow, Dialogue Society

Mike Ainsworth

Chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime to the National Police Chiefs Council

A 2019 independent report presented by the Commission on Extremism titled “Challenging Hateful Extremism” adds a further possible dimension to the traditional understanding of extremism within governmental discussions and policy development.

Defined as, “behaviours that can incite and amplify hate, or engage in persistent hatred, or equivocate about and make the moral case for violence. And that draw on hateful, hostile or supremacist beliefs directed at an out-group who are perceived as a threat to the wellbeing, survival or success of an In-group. And that cause, or are likely to cause, harm to individuals, communities or wider society.”, hateful extremism poses a threat to cohesion within our communities and the safety of our society as a whole.

Our panel aims to elaborate on the term hateful extremism with the hope of ensuring, firstly a better understanding of what it constitutes and then how an understanding can aid in challenging hateful extremism.

  • What is “Hateful Extremism”?
  • What are the pros’ and cons’ of defining the term “Hateful Extremism”? How beneficial is this definition for us?
  • What are the different ways in which hateful extremism can be manifested?
  • What role does social media play in the dissemination of hateful extremism?
  • Who are the groups most vulnerable to this form of extremism, and what can be done to challenge them?
Understanding Hateful Extremism in the UK

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

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.