Dr Elizabeth Pearson
Lecturer within the Cyber Threats Research Centre
Legal Studies
Telephone: (01792) 295980
Room: Office - 133
First Floor
Richard Price Building
Singleton Campus

Dr. Elizabeth Pearson is a Lecturer at the Cyber Threats Research Centre (CyTReC), specialising in gender, extremism, and how to counter extremism. Elizabeth has an interest in offline and online and their intersections. She has worked with VOX-Pol, the EU’s online extremism research network, conducting research on gender in ISIS-supporting communities on Twitter.

She studied for her PhD in War Studies at King’s College London, where she explored gender in both ‘Islamist’ and ‘far-right’ movements in the UK through field research and interviews with activists. Elizabeth is also an Associate Fellow at RUSI and has carried out research for the London-based think tank examining attitudes to both Violent Extremism and Countering Violent Extremism in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.

Elizabeth also maintains a dataset of female suicide bombing in West Africa and has an interest in issues of gender in relation to ‘Boko Haram’. 

She has worked with the European Union Technical Assistance to Nigeria’s Evolving Security Challenges (EUTANS) and with RUSI on CVE delivery in Nigeria.

Before academia, Elizabeth spent more than fifteen years with BBC radio where she worked in production, reporting and feature-making, mainly for BBC Radio Four.


  1. Extremism and Toxic Masculinity: the Man Question Reposed. International Affairs
  2. Online as the New Frontline: Affect, Gender, and ISIS-Take-Down on Social Media. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-25.
  3. The Case of Roshonara Choudhry: Implications for Theory on Online Radicalization, ISIS Women, and the Gendered Jihad. Policy & Internet 8(1), 5-33.
  4. Wilayat Shahidat: Boko Haram, the Islamic State, and the Question of the Female Suicide Bomber. In Boko Haram Beyond the Headlines: Analyses of Africa’s Enduring Insurgency. (pp. 33-52). West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC).
  5. & Social Media, the Online Environment and Terrorism. In Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism.

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  • LAMM22 Contemporary Terrorism in Historical and Philosophical Context

    This compulsory module will provide students with an overview of both the historical and philosophical origins of contemporary ¿terrorism¿ and the theoretical frameworks through which political violence is understood. Students will be introduced to the topic of terrorism through exploration of historical cases. They will also explore the key models explaining terrorism and diverse theoretical approaches to its study. The course critically engages with the literature on terrorism, as well as the policies, programmes and responses designed to counter terrorism. Emphasis will be given to gender within responses to terrorism and as a factor in terrorism throughout.


  • Counter-terrorsim and the role of the new security actors: An ethnographic study (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Lella Nouri
    Other supervisor: Prof Stuart Macdonald

Key Grants and Projects

  • Kanishka Programme funded research into the gender dynamics of violent extremism and countering violent extremism, a Five-Country Project with RUSI. 2015 - 2016

  • ESRC funding for PhD Research into How Gender Factors in UK Extremism. 2014 - 2018