VOX-Pol Newsletter 10(4) December 2023

Welcome to Volume 10, Issue 4 of the VOX-Pol Newsletter.


Look out for two VOX-Pol online events coming up in December.

The first of the VOX-Pol Next Gen Academic Survival Workshops takes place on Wednesday 6 December on the topic of Early Career Researcher Safety, Well-Being, and Ethics. We will explore the complexities, challenges, and dangers of studying online extremism. The virtual event will include three presentations covering key topics: researcher safety and security, mental health and well-being, and ethical considerations. Join us to gain valuable insights and essential skills for your research journey into the field. If you are an early career researcher, register your attendance on the VOX-Pol website.

On Wednesday 13 December, VOX-Pol are hosting a Virtual Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and Extremism. This roundtable examines the toxic encounter of these two evolutions, from five distinct perspectives offered by its chair and expert panellists, offering cutting-edge insights on issues such as AI-powered detection of radical content or deepfake use by extremist groups. It will be of interest to researchers, academics, and government CVE practitioners, for example, counter-terrorism policing, Home Office OSCT, etc. The link to join is on the VOX-Pol website.


VOX-Pol is pleased to share the Autumn 2023 Guest Lecture Series on our YouTube Channel. The lectures are freely available for use in teaching and research, and we encourage everyone in our audience to share them with your own networks.

An overview of the Autumn Guest Lecture Series, and information about each lecture, is available on the website.


The Webinar Series, Through the Looking Glass: How to Incorporate Visual Material Within Research, hosted by the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) and VOX-Pol, covered the topics of analysing visuals, the ethics of visual analysis, and mixed methods approaches. The four webinars were chaired by VOX-Pol Member Dr Ashton Kingdon. Keep an eye on the VOX-Pol Events page and the NCRM Training page for future research training events.

VOX-Pol Member, Dr Stephane Baele, was a guest on the Tech Against Terrorism Podcast, on the episode The Power of Conspiracies, on 19 October 2023. The episode examines how conspiratorial narratives are common across extremist propaganda throughout history and their role in justifying and motivating violence towards certain groups. They also discuss how the internet has influenced the narrative power of conspiracies and consider the challenges AI and Large Language Models (LLM) present for tackling extreme conspiracies online. The following week, VOX-Pol Member and author of a forthcoming VOX-Pol report, JM Berger, featured on the podcast, discussing Extremist Manifestos.

VOX-Pol Members, Joe Whittaker and Farangiz Atamuradova, presented at the Hedayah International CVE conference at The Hague on 11 October 2023. Their presentation ‘Unleashing the Potential of Short-Form Video: Strategic Communications for Countering Extremism in the Digital Age’ is available to watch on YouTube, along with the rest of the conference highlights.


VOX-Pol Member Elizabeth Pearson publishes the book, Extreme Britain: Gender, Masculinity and Radicalisation in December 2023. This book was developed from Dr Pearson’s PhD research and explores the role of misogyny and ‘toxic masculinity’ in radicalisation. Covering the men’s incel movement online, to jihadist groups like Islamic State, to radical right ‘Free Speech’ protests. “Through interviews with leaders including Anjem Choudary, Jayda Fransen and Tommy Robinson, as well as their followers, Extreme Britain explores the emergence of extreme misogyny and masculinities.”

James Fitzgerald and Ayse D. Lokmanoglu have edited a special issue of Policy & Internet, titled, The (international) politics of content takedowns: Theory, practice, ethics. In their open access editorial, they introduce the key topics, and articles by VOX-Pol contributors Reem Ahmed, Aaron Zelin, Richard McNeill-Wilson, and Vivian Gerrand, along with VOX-Pol Coordinator Stuart Macdonald, and VOX-Pol Members Amy-Louise Watkin, Seán Looney, Ashley Mattheis, Ashton Kingdon and Katy Vaughan.

VOX-Pol Research Fellow, JM Berger, published a new paper, Lawful Extremism: Extremist Ideology and the Dred Scott Decision, for the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. The paper uses an extremism framework to examine a historic American court ruling that denied civil rights for Black people. www.middlebury.edu/institute/academics/centers-initiatives/ctec/publications/lawful-extremism-extremist-ideology-and-dred-scott

VOX-Pol Member Dr Gina Vale and Hannah Rose, Hate and Extremism Analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, launched a new report entitled Childhood Innocence?: Mapping Trends in Teenage Terrorism Convictions, published by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR). Over the past two years, Rose and Vale have compiled the first cross-ideological dataset of minors convicted of terrorism offences in England and Wales since 2016.

Their report analyses the records of the 43 identified cases, mapping trends in minors’ ideological affiliations; offences, pleas, and sentences; and social circumstances and networks. The authors continue to update the dataset as a ‘live’ resource on the ICSR website as and when new cases are confirmed. The Childhood Innocence Project dataset aims to give researchers, practitioners, and policymakers access and insight into the roles played by young people in extremist ecosystems and their radicalisation pathways.



November has been Early Career Researcher month on the VOX-Pol Blog as part of the Next Gen Network initiative. These works will also trickle into December. We have published:

We welcome submissions to the VOX-Pol Blog. To take up the opportunity to publish your research and ideas, and for more information, drop us a line at info@voxpol.eu. The submission instructions are HERE.


News and analysis by and featuring VOX-Pol Members.

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