The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is looking for a
PhD Candidate in the field of Radicalisation and Anti Governmental Extremism
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate to carry out research (75%) and teaching (25%) activities on radicalisation and anti-government extremism.
Over the past several years, a heterogeneous protest movement has been developing that defies easy categorization into political or religious ideological categories. Rather than belonging clearly to the political right or left, being religiously inspired or focused on single-issue topics, this protest movement is perhaps best defined by its eclectic nature. In its focus, this developing form of anti-government extremism mixes a variety politically-ideological fragments, such as anti-globalist critique from the left and anti-immigration stances from the right, with conspiracy thinking and idiosyncratic motives, including grievances against particular governmental institutions as well as grievances driven by poor mental health. In its appearance, this eclecticism is reflected in online and offline elements, large protests as well as lone-actor activity. Forms of expression also differ widely, from civil disobedience and activism to intimidation, street-level violence and even terrorism.
This protest movement also brings together a range of new actors alongside a core of well-known activists, including people newly drawn to anti-government themes through social media, and novel categories such as ‘influencers’. In terms of ‘family resemblance’, some core themes can be drawn from this difficult to define movement. A deep mistrust of the institutions of liberal societies (e.g. government, media, science, experts), a conviction that democratic freedoms are purposefully being squandered, and the belief that the government is the enemy of ‘the people’. Among policymakers in the Netherlands, this new protest movement is being discussed in terms of anti-government extremism. The phenomenon is not limited to the Netherlands. In the United States, for instance, ‘targeted violence’ has recently been added as a threat to the national counterterrorism strategy as distinct from more classic and well-known forms of ideologically driven violence.
The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr. Edwin Bakker, promotor and Dr. Jelle van Buuren, co-promotor (both ISGA). The candidate will perform the research and teaching at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. Education activities and assistance will serve the specialization track ‘Governance of Radicalism, Extremism and Terrorism in the master program Crisis and Security Management under the coordination of Dr. Jelle van Buuren.