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Commission Calls for Academic Papers

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Sara Khan talks to women
Sara Khan at West End Women and Girls

We’re giving academics the chance to write a short paper of up to 5,000 words on one of 12 crucial questions.

The academic papers will help us understand the objectives and tactics of extremists, online extremism, the drivers of extremism and current responses to it.

The academic papers cover the following themes:

  • An overview of the Far Right
  • Mainstreaming the Far Right
  • National Action: Links between the far right, extremism and terrorism
  • Overview of Islamism
  • Mainstreaming Islamism
  • Al-Muhajiroun: Links between Islamists, extremism and terrorism
  • Other forms of extremism
  • Drivers of extremism
  • Extremism online
  • Critiquing approaches to countering extremism
  • Understanding effective approaches to changing attitudes and behaviours

It’s the latest stage in our work to produce a study into extremism and recommendations for the Home Secretary and underlines our commitment to an evidence-driven approach and hearing as wide a range of views as possible.

In our first phase we visited 14 towns and cities, conducted polling and begun a review of academic literature.

This work shows there’s concern about the impact of extremism on individuals, communities and society, from the Far Right exploiting local tensions to Islamist extremists targeting young people online. But also that there’s much we don’t know.

In September we set out the questions we would ask in our Terms of Reference. What is the scale of extremism? What are the changing tactics of extremists? What are the harms extremism causes? Is our response sufficient? What is the public’s understanding of extremism and is the Government’s definition of extremism is helpful?

We’re seeking to answer the questions in a number of ways.

We’ve recently closed the first ever public consultation on the issue, receiving almost 3,000 responses.

We are also pooling data on indicators of extremism from Government and regulators and will be speaking to individuals and communities about their experience of extremism.

We will then bring the evidence together in a landmark study to be published later this year.

All the information you need to bid to write one of the academic papers is online.

Academics apply here

We will look at every submission carefully, each one will be evaluated against the criteria set out in the forms and a panel drawn from our Expert Group will make the decision on who we award the contract to.

Writers will be paid and we will publish all the papers – subject to peer review and standard conditions – alongside our study.

As set out in the Terms of Reference, at this stage the Commission is not endorsing any definition of extremism and will rely on authors to identify and justify their own definitions, in line with common academic practice.

The Commission is committed to an independent, impartial and transparent process and welcomes all academic applications.

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