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Photo of Dr Narzanin Massoumi

Dr Narzanin Massoumi

Senior Lecturer (Criminology)

My research interests span political sociology and criminology with a special focus on: human rights and civil liberties; and, racism and anti-racism. My contributions to a wide range of research projects have addressed Islamophobia in Europe, security and counter-terrorism, democracy in higher education, Muslim political participation and social movements.


Current research areas:

Defining Islamophobia and anti-Muslim Racism

A central focus of my ongoing work is defining and explaining Islamophobia in contemporary society. This work builds on research involved in developing an edited collection on ‘What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social movements and the State (2017, Pluto Press). I have both led and collaborated on numerous UK and European projects aimed at understanding and combating Islamophobia, partnering with civil society organisations across Europe to identify formal definitions and advance advocacy efforts in this domain.

My research in this field has been featured in international media, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Open Democracy, Discover Society, and ABC Radio. 

I also co-convene the British Sociological Association's Race and Ethnicity Study Group.           

The human rights implications of counter-terror terrorism

My second key research area explores the impact of expanding counter-terrorism measures on human rights. Collaborating with colleagues, we have worked to develop alternative conceptions of security rooted in human rights principles.

I led a British Academy funded study on the impact of counter-terrorism on universities and civil society. I am now authoring a book that that draws together five years of research in this area. 

I have been investigating the social justice implications of internet-based counter-terrorism and counter-extremism activities especially those aimed at young people and educational institutions. My current efforts are directed towards understanding the implications in advancements AI on security, law enforcement, and counter-terrorism practices. 

I have provided expert testimony in legal cases concerning radicalisation and terrorism.


Social movement research

Thirdly, my research analyses the politics of gender in social movements that have opposed the foreign and domestic politics of the ‘War on terror’. This work builds on and extends research conducted for my first book Muslim Women, Social Movements and the ‘War on Terror (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Here, I examined Muslim women's involvement in the British anti-war movement and offered an analysis of the political conditions that gave rise to particular forms of Muslim activism in the UK in the context of the ‘War on Terror’.

Research interests

  • State and corporate power
  • Racism and Islamophobia
  • Human rights and civil liberties
  • Social movements 
  • Political repression
  • Big data
  • Surveillance
  • Digital methods
  • Counter-terrorism policy 
  • Higher education policy 

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