‘Sharing information with authorities about violent extremist activity and involvement in foreign conflicts’
Dr. Paul Thomas,
University of Huddersfield

Friday May 26, 2017
10am – 12 noon
Ted Rogers School of Management Rm 2-002
Ryerson University
55 Dundas St. West

The first people to suspect or know that someone is involved in acts of violent extremism, or travel to overseas conflicts, often is those closest to them: their friends and family. However, whilst these ‘intimates’ have a vital role to play against potential terrorist threats, little is known about what ‘reporting’ means for them, including their views, experiences and concerns about coming forward to authorities. The current UK study by the University of Huddersfield and Deakin University of Australia (funded by CREST/ESRC) replicates and develops ground-breaking Australian research on this issue. The study uses qualitative inquiry, using semi-structured in-depth interviews with community respondents and professional practitioners drawn from three metropolitan conurbations at the forefront of Counter-Terrorism policy efforts through the ‘Prevent Strategy.’ Emerging data/findings will be presented.

Paul Thomas is Professor of Youth and Policy and Associate Dean (Research) in the School of Education at the University of Huddersfield, UK. Paul’s research focuses on how multiculturalist policies, such as Community Cohesion and the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy, are understood and enacted by ground-level policy-makers and practitioners, particularly educationalists, such as youth workers, community workers and teachers. It has led to the books Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion (Palgrave, 2011) and Responding to the Threat of Violent Extremism – Failing to Prevent (Bloomsbury, 2012), as well as articles in many leading journals. Paul gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry on Prevent in 2009 and has given keynote presentations at national and international policy and academic conferences.