VOX-Pol: An Introduction

VOX-Pol’s purpose is establishment of a robust partnering, research, training, and dissemination network that has as its core function comprehensive research, analysis, debate, and critique of topics in and issues surrounding Violent Online Political Extremism.

The aims of VOX-Pol are to:

  • 1. Conduct interdisciplinary research on extremism, terrorism and the internet between social scientists, computer scientists, engineers, and humanists that has a tangible impact on policy and practice;
  • 2. Engage stakeholders at all stages of the research process, including co-refining research questions, providing feedback on work in progress, and helping to formulate implementable recommendations;
  • 3. Support the development of students and early career researchers through the provision of training opportunities and resources; and
  • 4. Increase public understanding of online extremism and terrorism and appropriate response options.

VOX-Pol delivers a range of activities, including:

  • Academic publications
  • In-person and virtual conferences and workshops
  • Lecture series for students
  • Online resources for researchers and students
  • Weekly blog
  • Online library
  • Regular research reports, plus an annual Year in Review
  • Summer school for PhD students and early career researchers
  • Executive education

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence was established in 2014 with EU funding. Today, it is a global network, with 30 member institutions from 12 different countries across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

VOX-Pol researchers have expertise in jihadism, the extreme right and left, nationalist-separatist actors, and emerging forms of extremism (e.g. the male supremacist ‘Incel’ movement). Collectively, they have more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, including 11 monographs, on online extremism and terrorism. They also serve as editors, associate editors and editorial board members of the field’s leading journals including Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, Perspectives on Terrorism,  Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism and Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict. They have received in excess of £50m of funding for related past projects from, among others, the UK Home Office, the European Commission, NATO, Australian Dept. of Defence, Public Safety Canada, the US Dept. of Defense, and the US Dept. of Homeland Security.