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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Roger Griffin is widely acknowledged to be one of the world's foremost experts on the socio-historical and ideological dynamics of fascism, as well as the relationship to modernity of violence stemming from various forms of political or religious fanaticism, and in particular contemporary terrorism. In particular, his theory of fascism as a revolutionary form of ultranationalism driven by ‘palingenetic’ myth has had a major impact on comparative fascist studies since the mid-1990s. In May 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leuven in May 2011 in recognition of his services to the comparative study of fascism.
He began teaching at what was then Oxford Polytechnic over forty-five years ago, and has played an active part in its evolution into Oxford Brookes University what is regularly voted the UK's outstanding New University in the country, working alongside one of the more successful teams of historians in England in terms of the quality of its research output 'per head' according to the RAE/REF of 2001, 2008, and 2014. As an extension and application of his academic research into the social dynamics of Nazi fanaticism under the impact of modernity he has made a number of contributions both within and outside academia to a humanistic understanding of terrorist radicalization and the identification of an original strategy to bring about deradicalization. His theory of 'heroic doubling' is now the basis of a major research project based on multi-agency collaboration which aims to provide a scientific aid to understanding and intervening in the process of radicalization leading to terrorism. Meanwhile his theories of fascism and of fascism's relationship to religion, ultranationalism, totalitarianism, aesthetics and modernism continue to be widely used, particularly in Eastern Europe and have attracted interest as far away as South Korea, China and Japan.
Most of Roger Griffin's undergraduate teaching relates to modernism, fascism or the History of Ideas. He leads the following advanced modules:
He also has lectured and/or taken seminars on
He draws on his major new book on terrorism, Terrorist's Creed in the MA specialist module
He also runs the MA dissertation modules 67599 and 68599 which prepare MA students for writing and submitting their dissertation
Roger Griffin has supervised and co-supervised several PhDs to completion and welcomes applications for doctoral projects in topics relating to fascism, (political and cultural) modernism, racism, terrorism, and transcultural humanism. He invites inquiries exploring the possibility for doctoral supervision on topics relating to these areas from students anywhere in the world.
He has acted as external PhD examiner at Oxford University, Birmingham, Bath, Sheffield, Bucharest, Budapest, Paris III, Perpignan, and Granada
At present his principal research interests are:
iii) political (programmatic) modernism in the form of all totalitarian ideologies and its relationship to aesthetic modernism, the dynamics of terrorism, and (transcultural) humanism in the modern age.
Increasingly Roger Griffin is concerned with the practical application of his insights into the dynamics of fanatical violence in counter-radicalization and counter-terrorist policies. His theory of 'heroic doubling' was cited in the prosecution case against Anders Breivik and has attracted the attention of international counter-terrorist agencies. Another application (the AVATAR project) is under development, namely the creation on the basis of a large selection of profiles actual terrorists understood through the lens of ‘heroic doubling’, of a prognostic database for use by counter-terrorism forces to help identify potential in collaboration with a major UK expert in the use of IT for security purposes
network associated with the journal Fascism and its affiliated association COMFAS
the terrorism research group International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation based in King's College, London
the centre for the study of totalitarianism and extremism based in Olso University
Awarded Honorary Doctorate by University of Leuven (2011) for sercices to the comparative study of fascism
various grants including British Academy and ESRC grants to write Modernism and Fascism (2008)
Three major projects at present (Oct 2017):
1. Research programme to provide basis for a major mobograph on the historical impact of different concepts and realituies of the self in modern western history (Double trouble: How Alter Egos Alter History (and Can Save Humanity)
2. Ongoing work on AVATAR project to create (through collboration with expert in cybersecurity and IT, as well as Kafka) a prognostic database incorporating insights drawn from my work on heroic doubling.
3. Contribution to the founding and rnning of COMFAS, association for the comparative study of fascism
Further research dissemination
In the last 30 years Roger Griffin has given numerous talks at History Association evenings, staff seminars, and sixth-form conferences in Britain. For example, he was interviewed about fascism on Hamburg local radio (Freies Sender Kombinat) and about Bush's use of the term Islamo-Fascism by The New York Times, as well as being consulted about aspects of fascism (e.g. Joerg Haider's death and the rise of the radical right in Austria, the 'new' BNP under Nick Griffin) and populism (e.g. by the Canadian radio station CBC, and by the Pan European Forum organized by Cheuvreux). In the wake of the Anders Breivik attack in Norway he gave various interviews to the media on terrorism, including a talk on the psychological dynamics of Breivik at a public discussion of terrorism held in Oslo in February 2012. In the last 25 years Roger Griffin has given numerous talks at History Association evenings, staff seminars, and sixth-form conferences in Britain. He was interviewed about fascism on Hamburg local radio (Freies Sender Kombinat) and about Bush's use of the term Islamo-Fascism by The New York Times, as well as being consulted about aspects of fascism (e.g. Joerg Haider's death and the rise of the radical right in Austria, the 'new' BNP under Nick Griffin) and populism (e.g. by the Canadian radio station CBC, and by the Pan European Forum organized by Cheuvreux). He is regularly interviewed by the London radio station LBC in connection with terrorist attacks or threats, and in the wake of the Anders Breivik attack in Norway he gave various interviews to the media on terrorism, including a talk on the psychological dynamics of Breivik at a public discussion of terrorism held in Oslo in February 2012.
His major forum for dissemination of his theories since 1989 is a long series of over 90 national and international talks, workshops and conference papers/keynotes, which have taken him to over 30 different countries world-wide, and particularly to Romania, Hungary, Norway, Spain and Holland, but also the US (Wisconsin, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Minneapolis), Argentina, Seoul, Croatia, Slovakia, and Sweden. He provided the keynote on the need for a new, non-Eurocentric Enlightenment to an international Liberal Arts conference held in Qatar by the University Texas (2017), and has given interviews to the press agencies and magazines based in the US, the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and South Korea.
He has also given over 60 talks to school history societies or sixth form/A-level students studying politics or history relating to extremism.
The text book Fascism: An Introduction to Comparative Fascist studies for Polity's Key concepts in Political thought to be published in 2018, and his work for the journal ifascism iand for the new association COMFAS are conceived to act as a major vehicles for the continuing dissemination of the working definition of fascism provided in The Nature of Fascism (1991) which has now achieved a global presence if not hegemony within fascist studies.
Latest book projects
Journal articles not in Converis
He has been a member of the editorial board of Patterns of Prejudice since 1990, and for 4 years was co-editor of the journal Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions (2005-2008). After leaving the journal he helped create a new Political Religion section of the Blackwell-Wiley on-line journal Religion Compass which he co-edited for three years. He is also consultant editor of the new e-journal (2011) Fascism: Journal for Comparative Fascist Studies edited by Madelon de Keizer in Amsterdam (Brill). His main editorial work till recently was on the 15 volumes of the series he founded, 'Modernism and' (Palgrave), and he continues to play an active role as founding editor of the journal Fascism, and in the creation of its affiliated association COMFAS (Association for the Comparative Study of Fascism which is to be based in the Central European University (Budapest).
Thanks to funding from the Berendel Foundation for 2011-12, Roger Griffin was able to explore the feasibility of setting up an internet resource for the advancement of transcultural humanism, a project (PATH) that builds on his keynote for a conference held by the Berendel Foundation on this topic in Oxford in September 2010. With appropriate funding the outcome of this project would be the establishment of an electronic journal (Studies in Transcultural Humanism) that would focus on the history of transcultural humanism, both in theory and practice, in the world's religious and secular cultures. This would involve a variety of traditions of tolerance and fruitful coexistence with 'the Other' that exist in human history and could hopefully be reactivated to help address the many dilemmas that humanity now faces on a global and planetary level.
Since September 2015 Roger Griffin has found a highly practical and topical application of his work on terrorism and transculatural humanism in the AVATAR (Analysis of Virtual Alter-egos in Terrorst Activism and Radicalization) project with an expert in the IT aspect of counterradicalization and a police force actively engaged in counter-radicalization and CT work.
He has been Fellow of the Royal Historical Society since 2003.
He has been on the AHRC panel of peer reviewers since 2008
He has been the external examiner or external consultant on several for MPhil, PhD, and Habilitation theses in the UK, Central European University, France, and Australia.
He was the main author of the project description for a bid to the EU for funding for a 4 year international project on 'Shadows Over Democracy' in Europe in Dec-Jan 2009-2010 (the bid went through to the final round but was unsuccessful).
He gives frequent talks to school sixth-forms on subjects relating to fascism and extremism.
He has given lectures to executives on the need for a new type of leadership in the context of the need for a 'paradigm shift' that will assure sustainability in the future.
He has taken part in a round-table discussion on right-wing populism held at the Pan-European Forum organized by Cheuvreux (May 2012)
He has participated in numerous radio discussions of issues related to his research, and appeared on a Romanian history programme to discuss his work in 2011.
Since 2012 he has given radio interviews for Radio 5 Live, Radio Scotland, Oxford Radio, LBC, Talk Russia, Russia Today, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and has been cited in numerous newspaper articles on stories relating to extremist violence.
In May 2015 he was interviewed in a Prague studio by the public on fascism on an hour-long popular TV programme investigating cultural and popular issues.
He is well-established as an expert on terrorism in Norway, where his theories were used in th Breivik trial.
He has given over 40 interviews on aspects of his specialisms to press, TV and radio in more than6 countries in the last 10 years.
Keynote Addresses and Conference Papers since 2004