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PhD projects

Islamophobia, counter-terrorism, race and ethnicity, migration

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Personal profile


Dr Madeline-Sophie (Maddy) Abbas completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Leeds, funded by a University Research Scholarship.  She is a critical race scholar and activist engaged in anti-racism, decolonisation and social justice.  Key strands in her work are critical race and whiteness studies, Islamophobia, security and surveillance, counter-terrorism and migration. She is currently a Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at Leeds Trinity University in the School of Criminology, Investigation and Policing.  Previous posts include Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, Research Associate at Cambridge University for the Cambridge Migration Research Network, now the Centre for the Study of Human Movement, Lecturer in Sociology at Oxford Brookes University, and Teaching Assistant at the University of Leeds.


She is the author of Terror and the Dynamism of Islamophobia in 21st Century Britain: The Concentrationary Gothic,  published with Palgrave (2021) for a major series, Politics of Identity and Citizenship.  She has also published in the British Journal of Sociology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities, and The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights on political blackness, Islamophobia, the impact of counter-terrorism measures on Muslim communities and families, and the convergence of counter-terrorism measures and asylum regimes within the Syrian refugee ‘crisis’.

Current Research Project and Knowledge Exchange Activities

She is currently conducting a Research England policy support funded project exploring the impact of Prevent and related legislation on British Muslims’ experiences of citizenship. 

She is co-ordinating a seminar series on Counter-terrorism and Citizenship with experts in the UK and internationally beginning Tuesday 29th March 2022. For details or to register click here: Eventbrite

To hear more about the project and/or events, please contact:

Her work can be followed on, and twitter@abbas_madeline  

Teaching and Administration

For 2021/22 I am teaching the following modules across criminology, sociology and policing UG programmes:

Identities and Inequalities (Sociology, Level 4, Module Leader)

Contemporary Issues in Police Studies (Level 5, Module Leader)

Intelligence and Security (Level 6, Module Leader)

Contemporary Research 2 (Level 5, team taught)

Research interests

Terror and the Dynamism of Islamophobia in 21st Century Britain (Abbas, 2021)

Contributes an original framework (the Concentrationary Gothic) for exploring the terrors of counter-terrorism in the 'war on terror' context affecting Muslims in Britain and how these practices relate to histories of racial terror present in  anti-Semitism, anti-blackness and anti-Irishness. 


This book provides powerful insights into the dynamics, nature, and experiences of the terrors of counter-terrorism measures in the UK. Abbas links her analysis to wider concerns of nation construction and belonging; racial profiling and policing; the state of exception and pre-emptive counter-terrorism measures; community-based counter-terrorism measures; and restrictions to political engagement, freedom of speech and hate speech. What makes this work distinct is its advancement of an original framework - the Concentrationary Gothic - to delineate the racialised mechanisms of terror involved in the governance of Muslim populations in the ‘war on terror’ context. 

The book illuminates the various ways in which Muslims in Britain experience terror through racialised surveillance and policing strategies operating at state, group (inter- and intra-), and individual levels in diverse contexts such as the street, workplace, public transport and the home.  Abbas situates these experiences within wider racial politics and theory, drawing connections to anti-Semitism, anti-blackness, anti-Irishness and whiteness, to provide a complex mapping of the ways in which racial terror has operated in both historical and contemporary contexts of colonialism, slavery, and the camp, and offering a unique point of analysis through the use of Gothic tropes of haunting, monstrosity and abjection. This vital work will be of interest to students and scholars across sociology, criminology, anthropology, terrorism studies, Islamic studies, and critical Muslim studies, researching race and racialisation, security, immigration, nationhood and citizenship.


Knowledge exchange and public engagement

I am keen to engage with a range of stakeholders and potential beneficiaries outside of academia and have been involved in innovative projects with cultural, activist and charity/community organisations as well as public engagement and media, policy exchange and academic audiences to encourage debate, dialogue and challenge narratives around race, migration, counter-terrorism, surveillance and security.


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