Radicalism and the New Media Research Group
The Radicalism and New Media Research Group
The interaction between new forms of media, and radical political and cultural perspectives, has repeatedly transformed the modern world. Both in contemporary settings, and historically, this has been a dynamic relationship. From the new printing and aesthetic styles used by modernist movements in the arts, to the mass propaganda techniques of twentieth century dictatorships, to the use of new media by current waves of far right and Islamist organizations, the nature of modern radicalism has repeatedly been marked by synergies that have developed between revolutionary, and extremist, ideas and new types of media communication.
To explore and analyze aspects of this dynamic, the Radicalism and New Media research group was set up in 2009. It was first and foremost conceived as an interdisciplinary research unit to foster innovative research and consultancy projects. Based at the University of Northampton, it quickly developed a public facing approach to academic research, and so, working in collaboration with academics and professionals at a wide range of institutions, it has pursued both original, peer-reviewed analysis and pragmatic, collaborative engagements with UK based practitioners.
To date, the research group has developed a notable specialism in the politics of the contemporary far right, both in Britain and across the world. This has included analysis of the growth and plateauing of contemporary social movements, such as the English Defence League, that have cultivated new communities of support primarily via new media communication. It has also helped to foster new networks of practitioners and academics at its various conferences, details of which can be found on the group's website.
This public facing work has also included developing new training packages, such as Far Right Aware, that are designed to make the latest research findings accessible to a wide audience. Moreover, building on this reputation for high-quality research, consultancy and training in the far right, the research group is now cultivating new project partners, and wider research concerns, to more fully map the synergies between changing media engagement, and radical politics and social activity.
Our diverse capabilities draw on the University of Northampton's core expertise in modern cultural and political History, Law, Psychology, Criminology and Criminal Justice. Developing this dynamic research agenda in a consciously inter-disciplinary manner brings together new perspectives, leading to innovative thinking in particular on the key issues of freedom and security that are being posed by new media developments.
We are keen to hear more from potentially interested partners, so if you would like to find out more about our work, or have ideas for collaborative research or consultancy, please do get in touch.