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Dr Matthew Francis

Senior Research Associate

Matthew Francis

County South

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YL

United Kingdom


Professional Role

I am the Senior Research Assistant on the Global Uncertainties: Ideology, Decision-making and Uncertainty project, which is funded by the RCUK Global Uncertainties programme. I work with the Leadership Fellow, Professor Kim Knott, on making interdisciplinary links between researchers, drawing in a range of external stakeholders and undertaking an original programme of research into the role that beliefs, commitments and ideologies make in decision-making in the face of risk and uncertainty.

Research Interests

I currently research the role that beliefs, commitments and ideologies make in decision-making in the face of risk and uncertainty.

This builds on previous research where I analysed the move to violence in religious and non-religious groups. I mapped the significance of shared non-negotiable beliefs through coding the public utterances of members and leaders of groups, focusing on case-studies on Aum Shinrikyo, al Qaeda, the Red Army Faction, Agonshu, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

At present I am following up on these interests through research on far-right movements and groups in the UK.

Additional Information

I recently undertook research into the role of religion, and the place of religious literacy, in a UK university. I was the Programme Manager and Research Associate on a national HEFCE-funded project on religious literacy in Higher Education and have presented on a role for religious literacy in broader public settings at human rights and equalities events.

I founded and am Editor of the website RadicalisationResearch.org, which is funded by the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme and which brings high-quality academic research on radicalisation and extremism to the attention of people working in policy and media settings.

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