Aimée Raijmaekers

Aimée is a graduate student at Leiden University, where she studies crisis and security management. Her focus area is the governance of radicalism, extremism, and terrorism. After writing her thesis on understanding radicalization, she became more intrigued by the grievances and social exclusion associated with radicalization. By joining Drive, she aims to gain a greater understanding of these factors and how they interact.

Lori is a graduate student at Leiden University specialising in the governance of extremism, terrorism, and radicalization, building upon her former study of development and international relations at the University of Sussex. Lori has previously written for the Brilliant Minds Collective think tank and worked for a non-profit in the UK. She hopes to increase her insights into qualitative research methods regarding social dilemmas and their effects on society.

Floor is a graduate student at Leiden University studying Crisis and Security Management with a focus on radicalisation, extremism, and terrorism. She integrates theoretical knowledge with practical research on the Drive project, providing her with valuable insights into this intriguing subject. She aims to expand and enhance her understanding of social exclusion, radicalisation, and how they interact through the Drive project.

In the summer of 2022, Oliver earned his bachelor's degree in history with minors in both conflict studies and violence from the University of Amsterdam. Oliver's thesis for his bachelor's concerned the dissection of the Islamic State's online magazine, Dabiq, in light of its capacity to attract and recruit individuals with violent and criminal pasts. His past research has concerned counter-terrorism efforts in Chechnya as well as comparative analyses of contemporary instances of genocide and mass murder. He is now completing his MSc in Crisis and Security Management at the Institute of Global Affairs, Leiden University. His main research interests include radicalization, extremism, and terrorism, with a focus on understanding governmental responses to extremist activity manifesting in armed conflicts. Born and raised in Brussels, Oliver is fluent in French, English, and Dutch.

Ines is a qualitative researcher employing interviews, archival evidence, and policy analysis to study European extremism prevention policies and practices. Her PhD thesis looked at the emergence and consolidation of Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (P/CVE) as a distinct policy field in the European Union. Her current research focuses on European right-wing extremism, online radicalisation, and potential strategies to counter online right-wing milieus. Inés is interested in processes of EU norm localisation within national counterterrorism regimes.

Aside from her academic research, Inés has worked within European institutions in Brussels, such as the Commission and the Parliamentary Research Service, producing policy-oriented reports. In terms of civil society, Inés annually collaborates with the European Islamophobia Report, co-authoring a chapter on Islamophobia in Spain. Finally, Ines is a university lecturer teaching on European terrorism and counterterrorism.

Cátia de Carvalho is a post-doctoral fellow on the Drive project. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Porto (2017-2022), funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, in which she investigated some of the factors explaining the absence of violent extremism within Islamist-inspired terrorism in Portugal. During her doctoral project, Cátia was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Criminology of the University of Cambridge (2020). At the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto, Cátia was a researcher in the project Networking the Educational World: Across Boundaries for Community-Building (NEW ABC), a H2020 project funded by the European Commission, and a lecturer in psychology and extremism. Her research interests focus on violent extremism, social exclusion, and discrimination as drivers of radicalisation, as well as disinformation and forced migrations. Her work has been funded by the European Commission, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, the US Department of Homeland Security, and Public Safety Canada. Additionally, she is a member of the European Researchers Community on Radicalisation of the Radicalisation Awareness Network and works as a consultant on preventing and countering violent extremism at the OSCE.

Seran de Leede is a doctoral candidate working on the topics of women, gender, and political violence as an independent researcher. Her research interests include the involvement of women in violent extremist groups and the relevance of gender in understanding and countering or preventing violent extremism. In her recent publications, she explored the motivations of women joining far-right extremist groups and lessons learned from German exit/prevent programmes aimed at far-right extremist women; the role of women in De Rode Jeugd (The Red Youth, a violent radical Left group active in the Netherlands in the 1970s); the position of Afghan women towards the Taliban; the relevance of adopting a gender perspective in efforts aimed to counter/prevent violent extremism; the motivations and roles of Western women supporting the Islamic State (ISIS); and the roles (and relevance) of women in jihadist groups from a historical perspective. Most recently, she co-edited a special issue for the Central Asia Programme on the effect of gender structures and dynamics on violent extremism in the Central Asia region, and she co-authored a toolkit for professionals working with Islamist-radicalised women and girls.

Richard McNeil-Willson is an Alwaleed Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a senior researcher on the Drive project. He was a postdoctoral researcher in the field of terrorism and political violence at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA), Leiden University. He was formerly based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence (Italy), as a Max Weber Fellow (2021–2022) and Research Associate (2019–2021) and holds a PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter (UK). His work critically analyses the interplay between groups labelled "extremist" and counter-extremism legislation and the tensions between counterterrorism, human rights, and state violence in Europe. As well as working on the European Commission H2020-funded DRIVE project, Richard has also been Main Researcher for the H2020-funded Building Resilience against Violent Extremism and Polarisation (BRaVE) project, and Project Co-instigator for the Erasmus+ project Counterterrorism and Safeguarding in response to Islamic State (CASIS). He has also conducted research for the European Commission on several project-based collaborations between EU Member States. He holds a PhD from the University of Exeter (UK), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (2019), additional degrees from the universities of Edinburgh, Durham, and Exeter (UK), and visiting fellowships from the universities of Aarhus (Denmark) and Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy).

Lianne Vostermans is a senior researcher in the field of terrorism and political violence, currently Senior Advisor at OpenHorizon and a senior researcher on the Drive project. Her research focuses on (violent) social and political mobilisation, paying particular attention to the interplay between emotions, identity, ideology, religion, organisational networks, and opportunity structures. Lianne has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East, collecting, amongst others, the testimonies of militants. At Leiden University, Lianne works on the European Commission H2020-funded project DRIVE, looking at the dynamics behind the reciprocal radicalisation between Islamist and right-wing extremist movements in North-Western Europe.

Lianne obtained her PhD from the Durham Global Security Institute at Durham University (with an ESRC scholarship), holds a MSc in Defence, Development and Diplomacy at Durham University, a PCG in the Psychology of Religion at Cambridge University, and a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht. Previously, Lianne was an affiliate at King’s College London.

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