At present his principal research interests are:
- i) the theory of and comparative study of fascism, its adaptation to unique historical situations; and its evolution as it continues to adapt to transformations in the socio-political structures and various threats to democracy or traditional values in modern society; and its relationship to radical right wing populism and to violence inspired by the struggle to achieve the independence of a national homeland, the realization of a utopia, or religious extremism as obstacles to the emergence of a sustainable, humane, global community.
- ii) the origins of terrorism in both concrete socio-political circumstances and (at least in some cases) in the malaise of modernity and the quest for preserving/attaining transcendental meaning and the sacred in a secularizing world.
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.
- iv) transcultural humanism (secular or religious) as a historical and contemporary force, conceived as a 'mirror' of extremism, racism and various forms of social exclusion and the basis for genuine multiculturalism and tolerance (rather than ‘British’ or ‘European’ values)
- v) The dynamics of radicalization and the task of deradicalization conceived as a form of reradicalization in the spirit of activist transcultural humanism.
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
Research group membership
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
Research grants and awards
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.