Zenia has a PhD from the University of Copenhagen on contentious politics among Arab media users in Europe. Her dissertation focused on the role of the media in political activism among Syrian diaspora groups in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. She holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic from the University of Copenhagen and a BA in Arab and Islamic Studies from Aarhus University. She studied at Lund University's media department and was a visiting scholar at the Freie Universität in Berlin. She is a member of the editorial board of the Scandinavian Journal of Islamic Studies. She has been teaching the MA course Media in the Middle East at the University of Copenhagen and has published several articles on diasporic media practices and the uprising in Syria. Zenia’s research interests revolve around the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as media and migration. She is interested in how media representations, among other factors, form identity processes and feelings of belonging. She is also concerned with research methods and methodological reflections, especially in relation to conducting fieldwork.
Uzair Ahmed is currently a PhD fellow at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography and an affiliate at the Center for Research on extremism at the University of Oslo. Drawing on fieldwork, including interviews with radicalised Muslims, in his upcoming work, Ahmed elucidates how Muslim men in Norway make meaning about why they adopt, maintain and reject political violence. In his forthcoming work, Ahmed also discusses how racialisation may influence research when studying radicalisation among Muslims. His research interests are race and ethnicity studies, radicalisation, religion, cultural sociology and qualitative methods.
Richard McNeil-Willson is 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).
Sara Jul Jacobsen has great experience conducting fieldwork within religious milieus in Europe, particularly in Denmark. Her research interests are gender, religion, and research methods. She has participated in international and national conferences on gender and religion as a key speaker or as a panellist. She also worked on and published on counter-radicalisation issues, focusing on gender, religion, and policy.
Lianne Vostermans is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of Terrorism and Political Violence at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA), Leiden University. 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, 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.