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UEL launches prestigious new Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre

Criminology and psychology

Centre builds on UEL's reputation for world-leading research in terrorism and counter-terrorism 

The University of East London (UEL) has built on its reputation for world-leading research in the field of terrorism and counter-terrorism by launching a new Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre (TERC).

The Centre brings together UEL academics with a broad range of expertise in violent dissident Irish republicanism; terrorism groups including ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda; radicalisation and extremism; political violence; the global illegal drugs trade; the psychology of terrorism; policing; Israel and Palestine; and mass atrocities.

An official launch took place at UEL’s University Square Stratford building on 26 October with guests from academia, law enforcement agencies and the national and international media in attendance. 

Dr John F. Morrison (pictured), the Centre’s director, said, “With the modern-day threat of terrorism facing each corner of the world, the TERC fellows aim to achieve a comprehensive understanding of terrorist threats and the individuals and groups responsible for these threats.

“Our research analyses both the act of terrorism and the motivations and rationale of the terrorist actor. Parallel to this, the Centre fellows critically examine and research counter-terrorist policies, tactics and strategies.

“The terrorism and counter-terrorism research is complemented by the analysis of the history, manifestations and modern-day versions of political, social and religious extremism.”

The Centre will host a regular series of seminars and conferences, a virtual fellowship scheme and produce cutting-edge research and publications.

Prospective UEL students will also have the opportunity to study for an MSc in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies, taught by Centre members, who also supervise PhDs in related disciplines. 

An international advisory board made-up of experts from the UK, United States, Austria, Spain and Singapore will oversee the Centre’s development.

Dr Morrison said, “Central to the ethos of TERC is the acknowledgement of the necessity to assess issues relating to both terrorism and extremism through a multi-disciplinary lens. 

“To achieve this, TERC researchers come from a variety of academic backgrounds including criminology, psychology, human rights law, education and sociology. 

“It is our aim that the research produced by the Centre fellows will be illuminating, important, challenging and beneficial to society locally, nationally and internationally.”

Their next event, ‘Countering violent extremism while protecting human rights: reflections on the UK Government’s Prevent Strategy’, is scheduled for 16 November.