Manchester expert joins national commission for countering extremism

Professor of Sociology Hilary Pilkington has joined the expert group of the independent national Commission for Countering Extremism, which advises the government on new policies to deal with extremism - including the need for any new powers.

Hilary was part of the Greater Manchester Preventing Hateful Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion Commission, and is Coordinator of the EU’s Dialogue about Radicalisation and Equality project, which is investigating young people’s encounters with and agents of radicalisation, how they receive and respond to those calls, and how they make choices about the paths they take.

The Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) is a non-statutory expert committee of the Home Office which operates independently, at arm’s length from, government. It seeks to engage widely and openly across the public sector, communities, civil society, families and legal and academic experts about extremism in the UK.

The Commission has already visited towns and cities across England and Wales, met more than 300 experts and activists and held workshops with civil society groups, human rights and free speech defenders, academics and practitioners.

Communities have shared their concerns about extremism in person, and through a YouGov poll. The responses showed that 73% of people were worried about rising levels of extremism in the UK, and 78% felt more needed to be done about it.

In September, it launched a public consultation, seeking evidence from government and commission research into the Far Right and Islamist extremism, as part of plans for a wide-ranging study into all forms of extremism.

Due to be released in spring 2019, the study aims to improve understanding of extremism and its deep impact on individuals and wider communities.

It also hopes to bring together the evidence to build understanding, find consensus and strengthen the UK's response to extremism across society.

The Commission’s Expert Group is designed to bring together experts in the field to provide constructive advice, and also to challenge the Commission – to act as ‘critical friends’ so to speak. This first year is a critical stage of the Commission’s work, and being part of the Expert Group is a great opportunity to help shape its programme of evidence gathering and feed in insights from our own research as they become available.
Professor Hilary Pilkington

Two other people have also joined the Commission’s Expert Group - human rights activist Peter Tatchell, and Dr Emman El-Badawy from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/commission-for-countering-extremism.

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