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Religion, State and Society Special Issue

11 October 11

Between 2008 and 2009 the Religion and Society Programme co-sponsored with the Moscow-based New Eurasia Foundation a series of workshops on Muslim young people in Britain and Russia in Windsor, Novgorod and Edinburgh. A special issue of the journal Religion, State and Society (2011, vol. 39, nos 2/3) on 'Muslim Young People in Britain and Russia: Intersections of Biography, Faith and History' arising directly from the workshops has just been published. It is co-edited by Marat Shterin (KCL) and Religion and Society award holder Basia Spalek (Birmingham) to whom the Programme is very grateful for their time & energy: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/crss20/current

The press release states: "This Special Issue focuses on Muslim young people and the intersections between their biographies, faith and history in Britain and Russia. Without intending any direct and systematic comparison between the two countries, it offers a range of contributions based on primary research, which illustrate a variety of ways in which individual biographies, groups and social movements are shaped by ascribed or chosen identification with the Islamic tradition.  Addressing many issues that continue to generate much policy and research interest, the questions of radicalisation and extremism are examined too. However, this is done through complex, nuanced, and often challenging portrayals of the young people who happen or choose to be Muslims and their relationship with families, local communities, society and the global world. This Special Issue brings together both established academics and young researchers who present new data and ideas in order to cast fresh ways of looking at Muslim young people’s lives within broader contexts of the profound social, economic, and cultural changes taking place in Britain and Russia. This special edition therefore links to many critical issues facing contemporary societies."

The issue features an article by co-editor Marat Shterin and Akhmet Yarlykapov entitled 'Reconsidering Radicalisation and Terrorism: the New Muslims Movement in Kabardino-Balkaria and its Path to Violence', which calls for new approaches to these significant issues of academic debate and public policy, and by a number of other British and Russian scholars, including: 

Clive Field, co-investigator on Religion and Society-funded project British Religion in Numbers: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/research_findings/featured_findings/british_religion_in_numbers_unveils_online_treasure_chest_of_data

Laura Zahra McDonald, researcher on the Religion and Society-funded research led by Basia Spalek: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/research_findings/featured_findings/partnerships_between_muslim_groups_and_police

and Sadek Hamid with whom the Programme is co-organising a day in Manchester on 22nd November on being 'Young, British and Muslim': http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/events/programme_events/show/young_british_and_muslim_academic_research_and_real_lives

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The report from an event co-organised by Basia Spalek and Laura Zahra McDonald on police-community engagement and counter-terrorism held in Birmingham December 2010: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/events/programme_events/show/young_british_and_muslim_academic_research_and_real_lives

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