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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.

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

This 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.

It aims 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.

Drawing on psychoanalytic and postcolonial methodologies, the research sets out to identify the factors that bring about a radical disintegration of trust and to explain how this breakdown of trust leads to the search for compensatory discourses of authenticity that have the potential to lead to violence.

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.

The research will also explore the role that music, youth culture, literature and performance may play in establishing new forms of connectivity