Amina Memon (@AminaMemon1)
Professor of Psychology, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Amina’s research in social and cognitive psychology contributed to best practice in forensic interviews of vulnerable witnesses. Her studies have included children, individuals with autism, seniors, police officers and judges.Current projects include assessing credibility and reliability of witness testimony, cognitive/social biases on decision making and characteristics of memory reports of victims of single and repeated childhood trauma. In 2017, she received the Economic and Social Research Council Outstanding Impact on Public Policy Prize.
Contribution to CSEL: Amina is co-director of the Centre. Her research on information gathering in legal contexts and contextual influences (including emotion) on judgement of accuracy, truthfulness and credibility led her to forge this new interdisciplinary focus. She is currently funded by Unbound Philanthropy to disseminate research on psychological issues pertinent to children and adults seeking international protection.
Jill Marshall (@JillMarshallLAW)
Professor of Law, Royal Holloway
Qualified and practising solicitor, admitted England and Wales 1992
Research Interests: Jill is a Human Rights lawyer. Her work focuses on the relationship between law and living well, human flourishing, what it means to be free, with a focus on women’s human rights. This includes analysis of conceptions of privacy, freedom, care, belonging and recognition and how they relate to the purpose of law, including human rights and anti-discrimination law purporting to protect aspects of our personal freedom, dignity and identities. She carries out human rights consultancy work. Current projects include analysing secrecy and confidentiality in pregnancy and childbirth, ‘baby boxes’, ‘children born of conflict’, freedom of religion, expression and identity especially through dress. She has written widely on these topics and is the author of three books including Human Rights Law and Personal Identity (Routledge 2014). She is Royal Holloway’s human rights research cluster lead for Global Challenges Research Fund work.
Contribution to CSEL: Jill is co-director of the Centre. Her research on the underlying purpose of law and its connection, or disconnection, to our everyday lives led her to seek out inter-disciplinary collaborations to investigate issues from many expert perspectives and to foster debate to advance knowledge and understanding.
John F. Morrison (@morrison_jf)
Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: John’s research focuses primarily on the psychology of terrorism. Within this he focuses on the role that a variety of forms of trust and distrust play in individual and organisational involvement in terrorism. He is also currently researching the role of social ecology in radicalisation.
Contribution to CSEL: John will participate in collaborative research with other members of the centre. This can include involvement on research grants, and joint supervision of PhD students. In September 2020 he will be hosting the annual Society for Terrorism Research International Conference. There is potential for CSEL to have a panel, roundtable, or other contribution to this event.
Ben O’Loughlin (@Ben_OLoughlin)
Professor of International Relations and Director of the New Political Communication Unit, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Ben’s research on strategic narrative and political communication helps to explain how persuasion works in the global media ecology. His studies of digital engagement in elections, conflict, and diplomacy have led to regular involvement with policymakers and journalists. He was Specialist Advisor to the UK Parliament’s Select Committee on Soft Power, producing the report Power and Persuasion in the Modern World. In 2016 Ben and his co-authors won the Walter Lippmann Award for Political Communication at the American Political Science Association (APSA). In 2019 he is Thinker in Residence on ‘Disinformation and Democracy’ at the Belgian Royal Academy.
Contribution to CSEL: Ben’s research on narrative and persuasion draws heavily on theories of affect and emotion. His research for the British Council and Goethe Institute on the role of art and culture in conflict is just one example of how he uses analysis of communication to allow groups and individuals to open up and explore political tensions.
Clinical Psychologist and Postdoctoral Researcher, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Zoe’s research focuses on issues relating to young people seeking protection from persecution or danger. This research has included credibility indicators used in assessment of asylum claims such as limitation of autobiographical memory, developmental considerations, trauma and depression and cultural differences. Zoe has also investigated decision-making and interview practices and how these influence the detail and quality of information provided by interviewees.
Contribution to CSEL: Zoe is a researcher for the Centre. She is currently funded by Unbound Philanthropy to disseminate research on psychological issues pertinent to children and adults seeking international protection. Zoe has contributed to UNHCR guidance on credibility assessment in young people, UK Home Office training for asylum case workers and European Asylum Support Office training as well as working along side 3rd sector organisations in the field of asylum.
Gary P. Brown (@paperbag1)
Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Gary’s research concerns measurement in clinical psychology, with a focus on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and especially the central challenge of translating findings from the research literature to the idiosyncratic needs of those seeking services in applied contexts such as psychotherapy, which depends critically on valid and precise measurement and parallel understandings of phenomena at the population and individual levels. Another central focus is on improving the extent to which self-report measures can be relied upon. Gary has been involved in the development of a number of the key measures used in the CBT field.
Contribution to CSEL: Gary hopes to find avenues to collaborate related to his interests in clinical formulation and the use of imagery in trauma. He can provide links to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and clinical psychology trainees interested in Centre projects, as well as wider links to relevant collaborators in the health service and the third sector.
Ravinder Barn (@ProfRaviBarn)
Professor of Social Policy, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Ravinder’s expertise spans work on gender, ethnicity, child and youth welfare, and criminal justice. Her background is in mixed-methods research in social policy, sociology, social work, and criminology. She is the author or editor of eight books and over 100 journal papers or book chapters. In August 2015, her work on sexual violence and criminal justice in India was among the top 10 ‘most read’ in the British Journal of Criminology. Her recent book, published by Oxford University Press, analyses child welfare systems in 11 countries to promote theoretical and empirical understandings of contemporary concerns surrounding globalisation, migration, and child rights.
Contribution to CSEL: Ravinder will bring knowledge from her empirically and theoretically grounded research to CSEL.
Dr Zena Kamash (@ZenaKamash)
Senior Lecturer in Roman Archaeology, Department of Classics, GCRF Cluster Lead for ‘Sustainable Societies’, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Zena’s work focuses on people-centred approaches to post-conflict cultural heritage, with a particular focus on Syria and Iraq.
Contribution to CSEL: Zena hopes to work closely with colleagues in CSEL to explore multidisciplinary approaches to tackle the UN’s Sustainability Goals, especially in the Middle East. Zena strongly believes that local communities need to be at the centre of any initiatives and looks forward to building co-produced methodologies that will expand on my current work in this area.
Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Will is interested in the social and political bases of refugee agency, or – if you prefer – how and when refugees can take control of their lives and for themselves organise to defend their rights and advance their interests.
This general interest has led Will to think about what the inclusion of ‘refugee voices’ in the international refugee regime might mean, how Zimbabwean and Rwandan refugees organise in the diaspora to defend themselves, and how refugee resettlement could be redesigned to empower both refugees and the communities that host them.
He is now thinking about the role of digital services and algorithmic decision-making in the design of services supposed to empower refugees, the role of returned refugees as ruling classes of the societies they come back to (in a forthcoming manuscript about Rwanda), and the ways in which the food security of refugees in East Africa can productively enhanced to put refugees back in control of their economic destinies.
Contribution to CSEL: Will’s work on refugee resettlement and refugee voice and agency is, centrally, about what conditions are necessary for refugees to be able to express their aspirations and preferences in secure, non-gameable, actionable circumstances. It is also about how refugee policy-making is designed to incorporate this, which means it is about developing a better understanding of the psycho-social bases of refugee cognition and decision-making, in order to design systems which genuinely empower refugees in a dignified and effective way.
Lecturer in Law, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Simon’s research focuses on various aspects of asylum and refugee law. His work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on historical, theological, political, and literary, as well as legal, frameworks of asylum. Over the past few years he has been engaged on a joint research project on climate refugees together with Dr Avidan Kent at the University of East Anglia. Simon has also recently begun a new project examining asylum practices in South Asia.
Contribution to CSEL: Simon aims to raise awareness of the role of law is shaping refugee narratives and identity.
Louise O Connor
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Royal Holloway
Research Interests: Louise’s recently completed PhD research was an ethnographic study of social work practice exploring how practitioners’ emotions were constructed in English Local Authority Children and Families Referral and Assessment Services. Drawing on sociological and psychosocial theories and ethnographic principles and a variety of qualitative methods, practitioners’ emotions were perceived as both problematic and the keystone of practice.
Contribution to CSEL: Louise’s work contributes to new knowledge on how emotions are constructed paradoxically in professional practice and the ways in which emotion practices are influenced by the social locations and ambivalent positions of practitioners as policy actors in organisational environments framed by new public management.