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Dr Elisa Orofino

Academic Lead for Extremism and Counter-Terrorism

International Policing and Public Protection Research Institute

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Sociology , Policing
Research Supervision:

Elisa’s research focuses on the liminality between vocal and non-violent extremism and she is currently working on three main areas: extremism in the online space; the shift from vocal extremists to terror offenders in the UK; and the commonalities across different expressions of extremism.

[email protected]

Visit Elisa's profile on Academia.edu

Visit Elisa's profile on Research Gate


Elisa is currently the Research Lead on Extremism and Counter-Terrorism at the International Policing and Public Protection Research Institute (IPPPRI) 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
  • Non-violent extremism(s)
  • Extremism and gaming
  • TACT offenders
  • Prevent
  • Muslims in the West
  • Radicalization
  • Terrorism
  • Revivalist Islamic Movements
  • PGcert in Teaching and Learning, Anglia Ruskin University, 2023
  • 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
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Academic-Practitioner Counter Extremism Network (APCEN). Network established by the Commission for Countering Extremism and including researchers, policy-makers and practitioners across government
  • Member of the European Society for Criminology
  • Member of the European Society of Criminology Working Group on Radicalization, Extremism, and Terrorism
  • 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., Self-Radicalisation in the post-pandemic world. Pathways, appealing ideologies and emerging eco-systems. Contract signed with Palgrave MacMillan in 2023, expected publication 2025

Orofino, E. (Ed.) (2023) Rethinking Islamism beyond Jihadi Violence: Fighting Ideas Leaving the Sword Aside. Wilmington (USA): Vernon Press.

Orofino, E. and Allchorn, W. (Eds.) (2023) Handbook of Non-Violent Extremism: Groups, Perspectives and New Debates. London: Routledge.

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

Book chapters

Orofino, E. and Çobanoğlu, Y. (2023) 'When ideology is all that matters! Exploring non-violent Islamism through Fetullah Gülen and Taqiuddin An-Nabhani'. In Orofino, E. and Allchorn, W. (Eds.) (2023) Handbook of Non-Violent Extremism: Groups, Perspectives and New Debates. London: Routledge.

Orofino, E. (2021) 'Vocal extremism as a threat to democracy? The role of Hizb ut-Tahrir and its campaign in Sweden' [published in Arabic] issue 174-, Al Mesbar Publications: Dubai.

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., 'The significance of the Caliphate in contemporary Islamist discourses. Much more than a mere historical relic', Religion, forthcoming.

Orofino, E. (2022) 'Extremism(s) and Their Fight against Modernity: The Case of Islamists and Eco-Radicals', Religions; 13:8, pp. 683.

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. (2022) 'Thematic Analysis of Vocal Extremist Narratives in the West', SAGE Research Methods Doing Research Online Datasets. doi: 10.4135/9781529604283

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. and Allchorn, W. (2023) 'Five Misconceptions of Non-Violent Extremism in Terrorism Studies', European Eye on Radicalization.

Orofino, E. (2022) 'Exploring Online Radicalization and How to Spot Extremist Content and What To Do About It: A British Case Study', European Eye on Radicalization.

Orofino, E. (2022) 'Islamic State: death of leader is big step towards becoming a different kind of terrorist organisation', The Conversation.

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.


Orofino, E. (2023) Exploring Patterns of Online Anti-Government Threat Narratives among Non-Violent Extremists in the UK. Study commissioned by The Commission for Countering Extremism.

Orofino, E. (2023) Understanding the Shift from Vocal Radicals to Terror Offender in the UK. Study commissioned by Counter-Terrorism Policing.

Orofino, E., Devendran, P. and Lundrigan, S. (2021) An Evaluation of Project Goldcrest. Policing Institute for the Eastern Region, Anglia Ruskin University.

Agnew-Pauley, W., Orofino E., and Lundrigan, S. (2021) The Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU) Localities Project – A Process Evaluation of the Five Local Initiatives. Policing Institute for the Eastern Region, Anglia Ruskin University.

Godier-McBard, L., Orofino, E. and Lundrigan, S. (2019) An Evaluation of the Essex Violence Against Women and Girls Perpetrator Pathway. Policing Institute for the Eastern Region and Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research, Anglia Ruskin University.

Recent presentations and conferences

“Extremist material online: how to spot it and what to do about it?”, British Academy Summer Showcase, London, 16 June, 2023.

“Myths vs reality in the discourses of illegal crossings”. Safe and Inclusive Communities Conference, Cambridge, 19 April , 2023.

“Exploring patterns of online recruitment among non-violent extremists in the UK (2016-2021): group narratives, recruitment methodologies and radicalisation effects”. Colloquium of the European Society of Criminology's Working Group on Extremism, Radicalization, and Terrorism. 26 January 2023, online.

“Academic Roundtable on Prevent”, organised by the Department for Education and the Commission for Countering Extremism. 25 January 2023, online.

Speaker of the panel entitled "When Activism becomes extremism" at the Commission for Countering Extremism Conference, London 8 December 2022.

“Researching Radicalisation and Extremism”. Chelmsford Science Festival, ARU Campus, Chelmsford, 12 October 2022.

“Exploring UK early intervention counter-terrorism programmes. A focus on the differences between the pre-offending population and the offending one within terror and terror-related offences”, EuroCrim 2022, Malaga, 21-24 September 2022.

"Exploring Islamism as a Different Concept from Jihad", SESAMO 15th International Congress, Naples, 22-24 June 2022.

“When ideology is all that matters! Exploring non-violent Islamism through Fetullah Gülen and Taqiuddin An-Nabhani”, 2022 Colloquium, European Society of Criminology Working Group on Radicalization, Extremism, and Terrorism, Chair of the panel: Exploring Islamism Beyond Jihadi Violence. 28 January 2022

“Extremists and radicals but not terrorists! Understanding British extremism beyond jihadi violence” presentation at the event “Spatial Forms of Extremism - The challenges of defining and perceiving extremism in a UK context”, organised by Dialogue Society, 11 January 2022, online.

Presentation to the Commission for Countering Extremism – invited by the Lead Commissioner Robin Simcox, Commission for Countering Extremism, 10 December 2021. Title of the presentation: “Extreme but vocal: a new insight into British extremism”.

Presentation to the Home Office - Extremism Analysis - Homeland Security Analysis and Insight, 25 November 2021. Title of the presentation: “Extreme but vocal: a new insight into British extremism”.

Understanding Violent Extremism through Vocal Extremism”, Conference Paper, Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing Conference 2021, 27 and 28 October 2021, Auckland, online.

"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 the platform European Eye on Radicalisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir: A Consistent Islamist Group That Has Stood the Test of Time. 31 May 2023.

Interview with BBC Radio Scotland, commenting on Shamima Begum’s citizenship deprivation. 23 February 2023. (07.47 min)

Interview with the platform European Eye on Radicalisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir: a Closer Look. 23 January 2023. 

Interview with BBC Essex Radio Show, commenting on the Prevent Scheme, online radicalisation and the threat of extremism in Essex. 20 January 2023. (17.07 min).

Interview with Breakfast on BBC Essex, commenting the current counter-terrorism programmes in the UK, 12 April 2022. (2.07 min).

Interview with The Breakfast Show - BBC Sounds on the effectiveness of Prevent and Channel. BBC Radio Foyle Northern Ireland, 12 April 2022. (46 min).

Interview with Drive Time Show Podcast, Work for the good of one’s nation, Reject extremism. March 17 2022. (From 1:05:10).

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.