Dr Stephen Herron is a Research Fellow working with Professor John Brewer on the project Nothing in Common? Analysing Identity Formation in the Far Right & Jihadi Extremist Rhetoric, funded by the QUB Agility Fund.
This project will involve comparative analysis of online extremism between Islamic Jihadists and the Far Right.
The project is part of exciting and innovative research involving an international team from leading universities including QUB, the University of Exeter and Emory University. They will use an interdisciplinary mixed methods approach to their research.
Principal Investigator Professor John Brewer will oversee the project while Co-Investigator Dr Herron, will be carrying out research, engaging with stakeholders and completing of a paper for publication in a leading journal.
Stephen is a former Research Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Mitchell Institute.
Stephen’s research interests include online extremism, misinformation and information manoeuvre as well as armed forces veteran transition and well-being.
In his previous role at the Institute, Stephen was Co-Investigator alongside Professor John Brewer (Principal Investigator) on a 3 ½ year project funded by the Forces in Mind Trust on Understanding ‘Negative Transitioning’ in British Ex-Service Personnel.
The project was one of the largest UK qualitative studies to examine the experiences of veterans who make a negative transition to civilian life. The researchers explored three measures of negative transitioning homelessness, imprisonment, or mental ill-health. With a sample of 323 people from across the UK, the research included 2 extended case studies of veteran prisoners and ex-prisoners in Scotland and homeless veterans in Birmingham.
The study found that overall, these individuals face the same challenges as other ex-Service personnel, but lack psychological resilience and the economic means to deal with them.
Read the End of Award Report, including a series of recommendations for statutory and voluntary organisations here.
Professor Michael Semple is Professorial Research Fellow: Complex Conflict and Peace Research. Michael was previously Practitioner Chair at the Mitchell Institute.
He works on innovative approaches to peace-making and engagement with militant Islamic movements in Afghanistan and South Asia.
His interests include the political culture of the Afghan Taliban and kindred militant Islamic, the role and potential of dialogue and social media in conflict transformation and the challenge of pluralism in the post 9/11 Muslim world.
In his current role, Michael will be conducting research into the complex conflict in Afghanistan, with focus including the political culture of the Afghan Taliban Movement, other conflict actors and emergent civic and political resistance to Taliban rule.
The research is policy-oriented and the role involves delivering insights to policy makers relevant to the management of the peace process, as well as contributions to public education and debate.
Michael hosts a regular podcast series: Taliban, Turbans and the Smartphone.
Featuring analysis and discussion, Michael speaks with key figures from the former Afghan government, NGO’s, and others involved in the country’s politics as the country seeks to rebuild under a new Taliban government, 20 years after the former Taliban rulers were overthrown.
Listen to the podcasts here.