About

Biography

I am currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University in The Hague. Previously, I was a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Professor of Sociology at Fatih University in Istanbul and a Reader in Sociology at the University of Birmingham.


My postgraduate interests began with concerns raised by late capitalism and the economic and social consequences it generates for local area contexts. I studied a host of social issues facing inner-city ethnic minority communities, including the role of ethnicity, religion, gender and social class in the education of British South Asians. I looked at issues of ethnic entrepreneurism. I also researched the importance of social policy in addressing ethnic and racial inequality. All of this work was carried out in the city of Birmingham, UK.

After nearly three years as a senior research officer working in central government in Whitehall, I returned to my hometown university to teach sociology and establish a centre in 2003. Since the events of 9/11 in the USA and 7/7 in the UK, my academic attention has concentrated on extremism, radicalisation and political violence. While teaching sociology in Birmingham and later in Istanbul, I was able to carry out original research on Islamist radicalisation in the UK and explore issues of ethnic and social conflict in Turkey. My current research is on reciprocal radicalisation in Europe.

I have spent two and half decades of my working life as a social researcher and university professor. Born, raised, and having lived and worked in UK until the age of 40, I spent nearly six years in Istanbul, during which time I also held various visiting academic positions in New York, Leiden, Jakarta, Islamabad and Jerusalem. Leaving Turkey before the events of the failed coup in July 2016, I worked in London, and back in Whitehall, but this time to focus on terrorism studies, in its broadest sense. I travelled extensively to learn of the problems and realities of countering violent extremism from academics and practitioners. All of this has brought me here, to The Hague – the International City of Peace and Justice – and to one of Europe’s primary university institutes of security and global affairs.

My new book, Islamophobia and Radicalisation: A Vicious Cycle, was published by Hurst in London and Oxford University Press in New York in late 2019.

Recent publications include an analysis of ‘Prevent’ policy as the UK manifestation of countering violent extremism, published Critical Social Policy in August 2019. My co-edited collection, Political Muslims: Understanding Youth Resistance in a Global Context (with Sadek Hamid) was published by Syracuse University Press in February 2019.


My forthcoming book critically interprets the countering violent extremism policy paradigm in a global context and is published by IB Tauris in 2020. 


Reviews of my books can be found here.


Education

2001, PhD in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick, UK

1994, Master of Social Science in Economic Development and Policy, University of Birmingham, UK

1993, BSc(Econ) in Economics with Mathematical Studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, UK


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