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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Radicalisation: The Life Narratives of Political Prisoners: Supplementary Grant

This interdisciplinary study utilises life narrative methodologies to analyse political prisoner life writing in terms of its role in the cultural phenomenon of radicalisation and in the construction and transmission of extremist or resistance cultures. It is intended to contribute to the emerging scholarship on the significance of culture (RAND, 2007) and narrative (US Dept of the Army, 2007; Home Office, 2006) to radicalisation processes and the manifestation of extremism and terrorism, defining cultural issues in contemporary British society.

This broadly comparative case study comprises examples of political prisoner life writings emanating from a diverse range of nationalist and international civil conflicts including Burma, Russia, the USA, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and the UK. The main strategy is to use this meso-level theory and methodology to conduct intensive analysis of key auto/biographical texts written by or about 'radicalised' prisoners with the aim of learning about the individual motives and collective interpretive processes linked to their radicalisation narratives while at the same time retaining close links to their distinctive political-historical contexts.