Dr. Joel Busher

Joel joined CTPSR in September 2014. At that time his work was focused primarily on anti-minority mobilisations, and specifically on anti-Muslim protest. His research in this area addresses how and why people become involved in anti-minority protest, and what sustains, energises or undermines such protests. His initial foray into this area took the form of a sixteen-month ethnography of English Defence League (EDL) activism in London and the southeast of England. He has subsequently carried out mixed method research in towns in Lancashire, West Yorkshire and the Home Counties. This latter work has led him into wider research on processes of interactive escalation (primarily between anti-minority or extreme right-wing activists and their various opponents) and the management of anti-minority protest and the mitigation of its social and political impacts.

He was awarded the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, 2016, for his monograph The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League

Since joining CTPSR, his work has branched out into other areas, including the implementation and societal impacts of counter-terrorism policy and how Brexit is playing out in the lives of British citizens living in Spain.

Joel has undertaken research, evaluation and consultancy by a number of funders, including government agencies, the Aziz Foundation and the British Academy. As well as generating several academic outputs (see below), his research has led to frequent and ongoing engagement with policy and practitioner communities working at local, national and international levels.

Prior to joining CTPSR, Joel held research fellowships at the University of Huddersfield and the University of East London, and worked as an analyst for the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL), part of the Ministry of Defence.

Joel is currently supervising three doctoral candidates. He is interested in supervising PhDs on topics related to any of the three main areas of research outlined above.

  • Costa del Brexit: There are an estimated 760,000 Britons currently living in Spain (approx. 300,000 are officially resident), rising to about 990,000 when including those who live there only part of the year. This project explores the experiences of a cross-section of this community as the Brexit process unfolds. The project focuses on 5 overlapping aspects of people’s lives: family and health; education and employment; leisure and consumption; identity and belonging; and civic and political action. The project will provide valuable insight about the social, cultural and emotional texture of this critical moment in British and European history and the implications it might have over the years to come.
    The evolution of insider-outsider tensions in a South African town: A qualitative analysis of contrasting interpretations and experiences of tensions between South African and non-South African workers that developed in the course of a labour dispute. It is funded as part of the a Coventry University IRSES grant for “Inter-Continental Exchange of Leadership in Conflict Transformation”
  • The evolution of anti-Muslim protest in two English towns: A mixed-method analysis of the different trajectories of anti-Muslim activism in two towns, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
  • Understanding concerns about community relations in Kirklees: Mixed-method analysis of: a) attitudes towards and experiences of ‘cohesion’ and b) attitudes towards and reactions to anti-minority mobilisation in predominantly white neighbourhoods in four areas of Kirklees. Project co-funded by Kirklees Local Authority and the University of Huddersfield.
  • Understanding concerns about community relations in Calderdale: Mixed-method analysis of: a) attitudes towards and experiences of ‘cohesion’ and b) attitudes towards and reactions to anti-minority mobilisation in predominantly white neighbourhoods in three areas of Calderdale. Project co-funded by Calderdale Local Authority and the University of Huddersfield.
Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021