Skip to main content

Please note: this event has passed

Can exposure to trauma lead someone to join a violent extremist group? What makes someone willing to fight and die for their values? How, and why, do terrorist groups operate?

As members of the Cross-Border Conflict, Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) research programme, and bringing expertise from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), Dr Fiona McEwen, Dr Nafees Hamid, and Dr Rajan Basra offer up new perspectives on what can motivate someone to engage in terrorism, and what can turn individuals away from embarking on a path to radicalisation.


Dr Fiona McEwen, Survey and Interventions Director for XCEPT at King’s College London, will explore the link between trauma and mental health in violent extremism, and explain why understanding this relationship is particularly important in the context of fragile and conflict-affected states.

Dr Nafees Hamid, Research and Policy Director for XCEPT at King’s College London, will discuss his neuroscience research into devoted actors of extremist groups and ‘sacred values’, exploring how social norms can combat a person’s willingness to fight and die for a cause.

Dr Rajan Basra, Research Fellow for XCEPT at King’s College London, will talk about his research into terrorists and hostages in Lebanon, and examine what one kidnapping incident in 2014 can teach us about the motives of terrorist groups.

You will receive an email with room details once your place is confirmed, or a dial-in link if you select online attendance.

The Cross-Border Conflict Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) research programme brings together world-leading experts to examine conflict-affected borderlands, how conflicts connect across borders, and the drivers of violent and peaceful behaviour. Funded by UK aid, XCEPT offers actionable research to inform policies and programmes that support peace. Our team at King’s College London (KCL) will specifically look at how conflict traumas affect mental health and pathways to violent/peaceful decision-making over time.