Influencing counter-terrorist policy

  • Influencing counter-terrorist policy

    Professor Roger Griffin

    Eighteen months on from the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, questions are still being asked as to why the attack took place.

    Professor Roger Griffin is coming to be recognised internationally as a major expert on terrorism and on what motivates people into enacting such atrocities.

    The link between Professor Griffin’s research and his involvement in pragmatic issues of counter-radicalization policy and strategy is the accumulated evidence to show that the radicalisation process does not involve ‘vulnerable’ individuals in the conventional sense of the term.

    Instead, it may well be a process willingly embraced by gifted individuals who crave a deeper sense of purpose and activism. Secondly, every ‘fanatic’ contains a residual non-heroized and non-fanatical self that is susceptible to de-radicalization.

    Professor Griffin is coming to be recognised internationally as a major expert on terrorism

    Thirdly, there is a distinction between being attracted by ‘extremist’ ideas or drawn to debate them and becoming committed to fanatical violence - a distinction to be respected by law agencies and authorities.

    Exploring the dynamics of terrorism

    Professor Griffin’s in-depth exploration into the dynamics of terrorism and fanatical violence and a search for meaning was documented in Terrorist’s Creed. Fanatical Violence and the Human Search for Meaning.

    The book attracted international attention in the wake of the Boston bombings and Woolwich assassination in 2013 and has led to Professor Griffin being invited to join three of Europe’s leading counter-terrorism research groups.

    Research insights from Professor Griffin work to understand the dynamics of terrorism and fanatical violence. This has impacted on policy, practice and public discussion not only through his establishment as a world authority on terrorism but also his participation in the implementation of the Home Office Prevent strategy.

    Based on his research expertise, Professor Griffin is featured in a training DVD for WRAP (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent) which is delivered nationally to frontline staff in the public sector.

    Radicalism, fanaticism and extremism

    Professor Griffin has influenced the plan by Universities UK and the Home Office to implement a radically new strategy for fulfilling Prevent policy in the University sector. His ideas also had a major impact on the implementation of the Prevent Strategy in Hampshire after a lecture on radicalization attended by Inspector David Knowles.

    Professor Griffin’s continued exploration of the socio-historical and ideological dynamics of fascism, and the relationship of various forms of political or religious fanaticism to modernity, has enabled not only policy and practice impacts, but also contributed to improved public understanding of radicalism, fanaticism and extremism.

    It has also attracted attention of Kam Bhui, Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Epidemiology and, co-founder and Trustee of Careif. Kam is carrying out research into the link between depression and radicalization which provides empirical corroboration of Professor Griffin’s more speculative and ‘intuitive’ approach based on the study of problem of meaning posed by modern culture.

    Read more about the full Impact Case Study on RADAR. Further information on Professor Professor Roger Griffin can be found on his profile page. Read an article extract from the Research Forum publication - What Turns Someone into a Terrorist?