June 28, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

King’s congratulates Dr. Derek Silva, Assistant Professor of Criminology on receiving an Insight Development Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) of $55,532.

The project will discuss how the concept of radicalization has emerged as the dominant framework  for understanding modern forms of political violence in governmental counter-terrorism policy throughout the Western world. The reasons behind the project are two-fold, Dr. Silva explains. In addition to being an extension of his previous research, the project will also look to understand how popular conceptions of terrorism remain at the heart of numerous and extensive interventions developed to counter it.

“I have long been interested in understanding the ways in which we talk about and justify mechanisms of social control in the context of counter-terrorism, and the notion of ‘radicalization’ is now the dominant concept used to explain and justify interventions, from increased surveillance and policing to monitoring unusual behaviour in the health and education sectors,” says Dr. Silva.

The project will employ a two-phased, mixed-methods approach utilizing computational sociological tools of social network analysis, plagiarism detection, and sentiment analysis on more than 500,000 documents. Dr. Silva will also conduct interviews with more than 50 key stakeholders in the Canadian counter-radicalization field in Calgary and Montréal this summer.

With the grant secured, the next step in the project will be to complete data collection of public documents, including tweets, political speeches, parliamentary debates, official reports, and begin interviewing key stakeholders.

Dr. Silva explains the project is relevant to the courses he teaches in Sociology of Terrorism, Sociology of Catastrophe, Surveillance and Society, as well as linking to the new Critical Security Studies program at King’s, to be launched this fall. 

SSHRC Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas. Funding is provided for short-term research development projects, of up to two years, proposed by individuals or teams.

For more information on Criminology, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/sociology/