Dr Richard McNeil-Willson is Research Associate at the Global Governance Programme, the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, in Florence. He is lead research for the BRaVE Project, a European Commission (Horizon 2020) project which explores issues of extremism, polarisation and counter-extremism in Europe. He is also advises the CHAMPIONs Project on polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe, at the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), Cluj-Napoca.
Richard has a PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, as an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) scholar, exploring the impact of counterterrorism programmes, policy and policing on activism by ‘Islamist’ organisations in Britain and Denmark, supervised by Professor Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Dr Willian Gallois. He holds additional degrees from the universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Exeter (UK) and a Visiting Fellow at Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy) and the University of Aarhus (Denmark).
Richard publishes on extremism and extremist groups, political violence and counterterrorism/countering violent extremism policies and approaches in Europe, North America and the Middle East.