Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Dr Narzanin Massoumi

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Narzanin Massoumi

Research FellowBSc (Hons), MSc, PhD


Twitter (@Narzanin) Project page


I am a political sociologist of 'race', social movements and counter terrorism, with a particular focus on the context of the 'War on Terror'.

Currently I am researching the impact of counter terrorism policy and practice on UK higher education. The project considers the role of UK counter-terrorism policy in shaping the nature of higher education institutions. I focus on how the new 'Prevent duty' (Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015) and other counter terrorism initiatives have constituted or affected the social, political and educational space of the university and the implications for the role of the university in society. The project is funded by the British Academy.

Previously I have researched the social production of terrorism expertise across the domains of government policy, academia, media and criminal justice proceedings. This work has engaged a wide range of audiences beyond the academic setting to help develop more robust and accountable processes of evaluating expertise in these different domains.

My latest book What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social Movements and the State (Pluto Press, 2017) offers a conception of Islamophobia as not simply a product of abstract or discursive, ideological or socially constructed processes, but a product of concrete social, political and cultural action undertaken in the pursuit of certain interests. The book brings together a collection of contributions from internationally renowned scholars in the field from three continents.

This work builds and extends research conducted for my first book Muslim Women, Social Movements and the 'War on Terror (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which examined Muslim women's involvement in the British anti-war movement and offered an analysis of the political conditions that gave rise to particular forms of Muslim activism in the UK 'War on Terror' environment.

Research interests

  • Terrorism
  • Counter terrorism
  • Racism and Islamophobia
  • Social movements
  • Higher education

Current projects


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