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Radical Distrust: A Cultural Analysis of the Emotional, Psychological and Linguistic Formations of Religious and Political Extremism

Welcome to the website for Radical Distrust. This project is funded under the ESRC-led cross- researchcouncil scheme Global Uncertainties: Security for a Changing World.

The Radical Distrust research programme serves to analyse the emotional and psychological formations of extreme beliefs through a comparative study of literary texts and performance culture across the areas of postcolonial and Middle Eastern studies.

We aim to confront the question of how security policies may be pursued in ways that do not serve to perpetuate the lack of trust that often constitutes a threat to security in the first place. Our research will also explore the role that music, youth culture, literature and performance may play in establishing new forms of connectivity.

The programme is comprised of projects that will focus on global youth culture and its radicalisation and on literary and cultural representations of extremism, social segregation and alienation in the contexts of North Africa, Southern Africa and the Middle East. These projects include:

Further details regarding these sub-projects can be found on the relevant pages above.

A major aim of this project is to set up a Radical Distrust Network, comprising of a series of workshops and seminars where scholars, journalists, cultural producers and policy makers engaged in addressing the above questions can meet, present work, and exchange ideas. If you would like to be involved in our network, please contact us to be part of our mailing list in order to be notified of up and coming events.

The website will act as the hub that connects the numerous and diverse events and sub-projects.




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