Dr Elisa Orofino

Academic Lead for Extremism and Counter-Terrorism

Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER)

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Sociology , Policing

Research Supervision:Yes

Elisa is interested in exploring the dynamics of the process of radicalization among Muslims in the West, looking at both cognitive and behavioural radicalization and the factors determining it.

[email protected]

Visit Elisa's profile on Academia.edu


Elisa is currently the Research Lead on Extremism and Counter-Terrorism at the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER) at Anglia Ruskin University.

Her interest in Counter-Terrorism started in 2009 during her Bachelors degree and continued throughout her academic career. She graduated in Political Sciences cum laude and expanded her research on extremism and anti-radicalisation policies during both her Masters and PhD. She conducted research in different national contexts, including Italy, Egypt, the UK and Australia, where she was awarded her PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Melbourne.

Since 2014, Elisa's research focus has shifted on vocal/non-violent extremism and its alleged role as conveyor belt to terrorism. She has conducted first-hand research on this topic, taking the non-violent but extreme Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir as a case study.

Elisa has published extensively on this topic over the years. She is the author of Hizb Ut-Tahrir and the Caliphate: Why the Group is Still Appealing to Muslims in the West (London: Routledge, 2020) and several other pieces including edited volumes, journal articles, book chapters and research papers.

Elisa also teaches extremism and counter-terrorism related subjects at both undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Spoken Languages

  • Italian
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Research interests

  • Muslims in the West
  • Radicalization
  • Terrorism
  • Revivalist Islamic Movements


  • PhD in Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne, 2018
  • Masters in Global Politics and Euro-Mediterranean Relations, University of Catania, 2012
  • Bachelors in International Relations, University of Catania, 2009

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS)
  • Member of the Association for the Sociology of Religion
  • Member of the International Political Science Association
  • Member of the British Sociological Association

Selected recent publications


Orofino, E. (Ed.), 2022 (scheduled). Rethinking Islamism beyond Jihadi Violence: Fighting Ideas Leaving the Sword Aside (contract signed with Vernon Press).

Orofino, E., Allchorn, W. (Eds.), 2022 (scheduled). Handbook of Non-Violent Extremism: Groups, Perspectives and New Debates (contract signed with Routledge).

Orofino, E., 2020. Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Caliphate (London: Routledge). doi: 10.4324/9780429268892

Book chapters

Orofino, E., 2021. Hizb ut-Tahrir. In Lukens-Bull, R., Woodward, M. (Eds.), 2021. Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives (New York: Springer), pp. 1-21. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-73653-2_99-1

Orofino, E., 2020. Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun. In Lukens-Bull, R., Woodward, M. (Eds.), 2020. Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives (New York: Springer), pp. 1-19. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-73653-2_103-1

Journal papers

Orofino, E., 2020. Citizenship in the Minds of Political Islamists. Australian Journal of Islamic Studies, 5:2, pp. 29-50.

Orofino, E., 2020. Framing, New Social Identity and Long-Term Loyalty. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Impact on its Members. Social Movement Studies. doi: 10.1080/14742837.2020.1722629

Ali, J., Orofino, E., 2018. Islamic Revivalist Movements in the Modern World: An Analysis of Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, Tabligh Jama’at, and Hizb ut-Tahrir. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 31:1, pp. 27-54. doi: 10.1558/jasr.35051

Orofino, E., 2015. Intellectual Radicals Challenging the State: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the West. Contemporary Social Science, 10:4, pp. 401-412. doi: 10.1080/21582041.2016.1236212

Case studies and working papers

Orofino, E., 2021. Analysing Nonviolent Extremism in the West Using Qualitative Methods. SAGE Qualitative Dataset. doi: 10.4135/9781529762761

Orofino, E., 2019. Researching “Intellectual Radicals” in the West. SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi: 10.4135/9781526476852

Orofino, E., 2016. Understanding Radical Groups and Radical Youth in the West: A Literature Review. EUMedEA Online Working Paper Series, 1-2016. ISSN 2499-2402.

Online platforms

Orofino, E., 2020. Extreme and Non-Violent? Exploring The Threat Posed by (Non-Violent) Extremists, Their Appeal and Capacity to Retain Members Long-Term. European Eye on Radicalization.

Recent presentations and conferences

"The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West the Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir Vis-à-Vis its Competitors", Conference Paper, ICCTR 2019: International Conference on Countering Terrorism and Radicalization, July 18-19 2019, Paris.

“Non-Violent Islamists challenging the West: the case of Hizb ut-Tahrir”, Conference Paper, Fourth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies, April 11-13 2017, Chester Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Chester (UK).

 “The European Union and the Challenge of the Khilafah. From the Root to the Causes: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir”, Conference Paper, 24th IPSA World Congress of Political Science, July 23-28 2016, Poznan (Poland).

“Citizens of the Ummah or Citizens of the State? The European Radical Muslim Youth as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for the European Union: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir,” Conference Paper, 3rd Reshape Annual Workshop on Insecurity Complexes The Response of the EU and the Member States, June 11-12 2015, Catania (Italy).

Media experience

Interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Dotty McLeod on Prevent early de-radicalisation support programmes. 19 October 2021.

Framing new social identity and long term loyalty. Interview with Faculti, 3 June 2021.

The rise of the far right and its impact on Muslims in the West. Interview with Voice of Islam radio Drive Time Show, 9 February 2021.

Hizb ut-Tahrir in Turkey - why is the group banned in some countries?. Interview with Mahmut Hamsici, BBC Turkey, 22 January 2021.

A Sicilian girl in among the people of Tahrir Square. Column in La Sicilia, daily newspaper, 28 December 2011.

Orofino, E. In Cairo, among thousand contradictions. Article for La Sicilia, daily newspaper, 18 October 2011.