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 (now part of Istanbul University) and a Reader (Associate Professor) in Sociology at the University of Birmingham.
During the late 1980s, I was interested in the formations of capital, a concept consolidated onto my intellectual horizons upon reading Economics at the University of London. But the narrow focus on economic capital as seen through a neoclassical lens caused me to diversify my interests. In my doctoral work, I explored the role of ethnicity, religion, class and gender in the formations of human capital, which was followed up with post-doctoral work exploring these factors in the context of the formations of ethnic entrepreneurialism in inner-city areas. Both these projects also concerned themselves with issues of intergenerational change, the social mobility of ethnic minorities, and the importance of the structural and (multi)cultural context. I had the unique opportunity to carry out both of these studies in the city of my birth, Birmingham, UK.
The events of 9/11 redirected me to focus on how Muslim minorities mobilise ethno-religious social and cultural capital to resist the lure of regressive Islamism, which itself, to a significant degree, is a response to the encroaching powers neoliberal global capitalism. While my work has largely been determined by sociological studies, my interests expanded during an extensive spell in Istanbul where I began to incorporate wider political and area studies concepts into my thinking. Contemporary Turkey in Conflict: Ethnicity, Islam and Politics was published by Edinburgh University Press and distributed by Oxford University Press in the USA in 2017. The book principally explores issues of ethno-religious, political and social capital, with an emphasis on social conflict and identity politics at the core and the periphery of Turkish society and politics. It has been reviewed in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, International Affairs, New Perspectives on Turkey and Turkish Studies.
Currently opeating out of The Hague, my body of work now falls under the radar of sociology and critical security studies in attempting to explore the formations and challenges to various forms of ‘radicalisation from below’. My current research is on comparative reciprocal radicalisation and on questions relating to inter-generational transmission of reigio-cultural norms and values among European Muslim minorities. My latest book, Islamophobia and Radicalisation: A Vicious Cycle, was published by Hurst in London and co-published by Oxford University Press in New York in late 2019. It has been reviewed in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies and The Times Literary Supplement. Other recent publications include an analysis of Dutch Muslim women perceptions on Dutch Muslim women returnees from the Islamic State (with A Kanhai), a sociological perspective on far right and Islamist reciprical radicalisation in Western Europe published as an ICCT Policy Brief in January 2020, a critical analysis of the UK CVE ‘Prevent’ policy published in Critical Social Policy in August 2019 and the co-edited collection, Political Muslims: Understanding Youth Resistance in a Global Context (with S Hamid), published by Syracuse University Press in February 2019.
I have published in various criminology, sociology of education, ethnic studies, Islamic studies, philosophy, small business, research methods, and terrorism studies journals. Some of my essays have been published in Spanish and German, and a few of my articles and books have been translated into Turkish, German and Urdu.
My forthcoming book critically appraises the Countering Violent Extremism paradigm in a global context and it will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in April 2021.
Reviews of my books.
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