Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Elizabeth Pearson is a Lecturer in Criminology and Programme Lead for the MSc Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies course, taught from our central London campus. Her research interests are in gender, extremism and counter-extremism. 

Elizabeth's most recent book, Extreme Britain: Gender, Masculinity and Radicalisation is out with Hurst and Oxford University Press at the end of 2023. This explores misogyny and masculinities in the radical right and Anjem Choudary's al-Muhajiroun, and is based on interviews with leaders including Choudary, Tommy Robinson, Jayda Fransen and Anne Marie Waters. The book started life as an ESRC-funded PhD at King's College London. 

She is also author of the book Countering Violent Extremism: Making Gender Matter, co-authored with Emily Winterbotham of the Royal United Services Institute and Dr Katherine Brown. CVE: Making Gender Matter is based on research in 2015-6 looking at the gender dynamics of extremism and countering violent extremism, and in five countries (Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK). 

She is interested in extremism online and off, and in 2015 conducted research on Islamic State supporters on Twitter on a Fellowship with VOX-Pol, the European Union Network of Excellence for the study of extremism online. Elizabeth has also written on gender and the West African jihadist group Boko Haram, and worked with the European Union Technial Assistance to Nigeria's Evolving Security Challenges (EUTANS) in 2015. 

Elizabeth also leads VOX-Pol's REASSURE project, aimed at producing safety guidelines for researchers of online terrorism and extremism. 

Prior to academia, Elizabeth worked as a radio journalist, mainly for the BBC.


Elizabeth is the Programme Lead for the MSc in Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies, taught in our central London campus. This master's course is suitable for professionals working in the security sector, as well as those with an undergraduate qualification, looking to deepen their knowlege of terrorism and how to counter it. The team includes Dr Anthony Richards, Professor Andrew Silke, and Dr Andrew Whiting.

She teaches on:

Debates in Terrorism (Module Convenor)

Debates in Counter-Terrorism

Contemporary Debates in Terrorism

Dissertation (Module Convenor)

Elizabeth also teaches in undergraduate criminology, and leads Risk, Insecurity and Terrorism Part 1, taken in the third year.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

War Studies, PhD, How does gender factor in UK extremism?, King's College London

14 Sept 20142 Jul 2018

Award Date: 3 Oct 2018

Violence, the State and Global Politics, Master's - Distinction, King's College London

15 Sept 201131 Aug 2013

Award Date: 13 Nov 2013

German and Philosophy, BA 2:1, Oxford University

Award Date: 15 Aug 1994

External positions

Editorial Board, International Centre for Counter-terrorism (ICCT)

Mar 2021 → …

Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies

May 2015 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or