Radicalization and counter-radicalization at British universities: Muslim encounters and alternatives

Katherine Brown, Tania Saeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the ‘spaces’ left over for Muslims to be ‘radical’ and the management of minority identities in light of their securitization in the UK. The paper considers a key site of this management of ‘radical’ identities: the university. The university works as prototypical case because of the ways in student activism and identity are a priori drawn together but also because of the prevalence of higher education among terrorists in the UK and USA. As a result, universities have been specifically targeted in counterterrorism and counter-radicalization measures. The paper reveals through student narratives how security discourses of ‘radicalization’ constrain their activism, university experience and identities. Yet, alternative identity constructions emerge that work against the moderate/ radical binary. These narratives show how incomplete the process is of incorporating Muslims into the nation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1952-1968
Number of pages17
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number11
Early online date30 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015


  • Counter-terrorism
  • British Politics
  • Universities
  • Islam
  • Gender
  • Citizenship
  • radicalization
  • activism


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