People protesting, woman with a megaphone

'Hot periods' of anti-minority activism and the threat of violent domestic extremism: Towards an assessment framework

Funder

CREST

Total value of project

£124,868

Project team

Dr Joel Busher, Zsófia Hacsek

Collaborators

Julia Ebner, Institute for Strategic Dialogue; Dr Gareth Harris, Independent Researcher; Dr Graham Macklin, Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo

Duration of project

2019 - 2021

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Project overview

This project will generate new policy- and practice-relevant insight about the pathways towards and away from violence during ‘hot periods’ of anti-minority activism, understood as those periods in which anti-minority groups intensify their efforts to influence policy and public opinion and capture media, policy and public attention.

The project integrates analysis of offline and online developments relevant to these ‘hot periods’. Each case study combines documentary analysis with key informant interviews and social media analysis.

Project objectives

Drawing on case studies of four towns or cities across three countries (UK, Germany and USA) that have become the focal points for such periods of intense anti-minority activism within recent history, the project will generate much-needed understanding about:

  • How and why some towns become national or international focal points for anti-minority activism at particular points in time;
  • How and why these periods of intense anti-minority activism become more or less violent, and how this is shaped by the local, national and international context, and by the actions of anti-minority activists themselves, counter-movement actors, law enforcement and other relevant state and non-state actors;
  • The repercussions of escalation of violence for the groups and movements involved and the towns and cities where such escalation takes place.
  • It is anticipated that the research will enable relevant policy planners and practitioners to better understand and evaluate emergent threats of violent escalation during and after hot periods of anti-minority activism, and to more accurately anticipate how planned interventions are likely to play out on the ground. Consideration will also be given to the broader applicability of the insights from this project for other forms of confrontational activism.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021