This research will investigate transformations over time in the social construction and representation of two religio-ethnic communities perceived as ‘suspect’ and as threatening Britishness. It will provide a new analysis of Irish experiences, compare this with current Muslim experiences and provide useful insights both for communities and for policy makers who seek to implement counter-terrorism policies without alienating communities. It will contribute new understandings of the changing articulations of religion, ethnicity and race in multi-ethnic and multi-faith Britain. The research will examine comparatively how the ‘suspect community’ is (re)constructed, during two eras of political violence. It will examine media, government and police representations of Irish and Muslim communities at a series of key points between 1974 and 2007. The impact on communities will be investigated through interviews with key informants and joint Muslim / Irish discussion groups in London and Birmingham. Researchers will work with an Advisory Board of community representatives, academics and NGOs. The research will be disseminated through articles, a report with policy recommendations and a seminars for academics, policy-makers and community members. Professor Mary Hickman (ISET, London Metropolitan University) directs the project. Her co-researchers are Dr Sara Silvestri (City University), and Dr Lyn Thomas (ISET).

Start date
30 September 2008
End date
29 June 2010
Grant holder
Professor Mary Hickman
Dr Sara Silvestri
Professor Lyn Thomas
Grant amount
Grant reference
No Lead Discipline
Grant type