Prof. Mark Sedgwick

Mark Sedgwick has a PhD in the history of Islam from the University of Bergen and is professor of Arab and Islamic Studies in the Department of the Study of Religion at Aarhus University. He previously taught for many years at the American University in Cairo. He works on a variety of topics including Islamic modernism, terrorism, and Salafism, and on Muslims in the West; he also works on the ideology of the Western Far Right and on theoretical issues.

His “Anti-Colonial Terrorism: Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood to 1954” is about to be published in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Terrorism, and his recent publications include an edited collection, Key Thinkers of the Radical Right: Behind the New Threat to Liberal Democracy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). One of his best-known articles is “The Concept of Radicalization as a Source of Confusion,” Terrorism and Political Violence 22 (2010).

Over the last two decades, I have been studying the impacts of risk on everyday life across a range of domains, including national security, crime, politics, welfare, work, the environment and consumption. During the course of my career, I have been keen to explore the ways in which social dangers are socially constructed and symbolically represented, how risks are perceived by different cultural groups, the ways in which risks are politically managed and the modes of regulation deployed by government and criminal justice agencies seeking to control risks.

My research lies at the intersection between Sociology and Criminology and is oriented toward the relationship between risk, security and control. In recent years I have been researching the social construction of the terrorist threat and the political effects of counter-terrorism legislation on Muslim Minority groups. This strand of my work is currently being augmented by a critical study into the nature, representation and regulation of radicalization.
I am also working alongside colleagues Sandra Walklate and Ross McGarry on a range of projects exploring the concept of resilience and its applications in military and security contexts. The third strand of my research is oriented toward the changing nature of the victim in society and the relationship between understandings of victimization, fear of crime and wider processes of securitization. My final long-standing research interest revolves around the theoretical uses of risk and the limits to risk theory. Consequent to my critique of the risk society thesis, I continue to explore the possibility of developing inter-disciplinary synergistic theories of risk within the social sciences.

I have established an international reputation in the field of risk research, delivering lectures and papers in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. I have authored several books on risk and my work is published in a range of high impact social science journals including the British Journal of Sociology, the British Journal of Criminology, Sociology, Sociological Review and Security Dialogue

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