PhD project

Testing a dynamic model of radicalisation in individual and society

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Application deadline

31 October 2023

The project seeks to address radicalisation, an important societal issue which undermines public safety, wellbeing, and the effective functioning of a society. It proposes to develop a new model that integrates social psychological theory and computational approaches to social issues. From the perspective of a PhD student, the project provides training on building theory-driven models to provide solutions to pressing problems in society, and on testing these models using cutting-edge methodologies.

This project is driven by the overarching question of ‘what are the structural dynamics and psychological processes underpinning radicalisation in a divided world dominated by online communication?’. To address this question, the project will develop and test a model seeking to explain both (micro) processes at the level of the individual and (macro) dynamics at the level of society - jointly leading to the formation of radical cells online and offline. Radical cells are highly cohesive sub-groups of individuals who share extreme beliefs about social reality and seek to change the society according to their beliefs (including by means of political violence). The model stems from an integration of a) theorising from social psychology, where radicalisation is seen as a group process leading to group members’ support for extreme collective action, and b) computational approaches from applied data science, where radicalisation is seen as intense clustering of extreme beliefs in a society. The methods that will be used for the project include analyses of big data from online extremist communities, survey studies and online experiments.

How to apply

  1. Email Dr Ana-Maria Bliuc ( to:
    • send a copy of your CV
    • discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Dr Bliuc, you can apply via our direct application system. Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Psychology
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