Leicester academic selected by Commission for Countering Extremism for research on the Far Right

The independent Commission for Countering Extremism has today (Tuesday 9 April) announced that Dr Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies in the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, as one of the leading academics it has commissioned to write a research paper on extremism.

The Commission, announced by the Prime Minister after the terror attacks of 2017, has selected 28 academics and experts with a wide range of expertise, from extremism to community cohesion, to write 19 papers on different aspects of extremism across the Far Right, Islamism, Far Left and online extremism after a competitive bidding process.

These papers will start to provide in-depth academic insights into extremism, as well as feed into the Commission’s study into all forms of extremism, released later this year.

Dr Allen’s paper is titled ‘National Action: Links between the far right, extremism and terrorism’, and will explore the links between extremism and terrorism through a deep dive into the UK’s first proscribed far right group, National Action.

The papers are part of the Commission’s evidence-gathering for a first-of-its-kind study into the scale of extremism in our country. Lead Commissioner Sara Khan will present the study to the Home Secretary with recommendations later this year.

Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism, said: “In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 2017, I was asked by the previous Home Secretary to provide the government with impartial, external advice on the tools, policies and approaches needed to tackle extremism.

“Since that time, the threat from extremism has grown – both in our country and across the world.

“We cannot be under any illusion – we are living in an era of extremism and growing intolerance. In every one of the towns and cities I have visited, I have heard concerns about the changing face and increasing prominence of extremism online, the Far Right and Islamist extremism. This is having a devastating impact on individuals, communities and our wider society.

“Countering extremism is a crucially important issue that requires serious and credible research to guide policymakers. The wide range of views put forward by these academic papers will be a vital element of our study on all forms of extremism in our country. They will provide in-depth academic insight that will complement the data and information we are collecting from thousands of individuals and organisations on the ground.

“Extremism is complex and there are many as yet unanswered questions about the scale of it and the best approach to tackling it, but my Commission’s study will start to set out what we can - and must - do as a country to stand up against those who seek to divide us.”

  • For enquiries, please contact Fay Sadro, Research and Evaluation Manager at the Centre for Hate Studies via fs190@leicester.ac.uk or +44 (0)116 252 5701.