Elizabeth Pearson is a Lecturer in Criminology at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is part of the Conflict, Violence and Terrorism Research Centre (CVTRC). She specialises in gender, masculinities, extremism and counter-extremism, and has an interest in both Islamist and far-right movements. Elizabeth is an author of the 2021 book Countering Violent Extremism: Making Gender Matter, along with Emily Winterbotham, Director of the Terrorism and Conflict group and Senior Research Fellow at RUSI, and Dr Katherine Brown of Birmingham University. The book explores research conducted with RUSI in 2015-6 on the gender dynamics of violent extremism (VE) and countering VE in five countries: Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Elizabeth researches both online and offline extremism and was from 2018-2021 part of Swansea University’s Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC). In 2015 she also carried out a research project with VOX-Pol, the EU’s online extremism research network, on analysis of gender in ISIS-supporting communities on Twitter. Elizabeth also researches gender in Boko Haram factions and has worked with the European Union Technical Assistance to Nigeria’s Evolving Security Challenges (EUTANS) and with RUSI on CVE delivery in Nigeria.
Elizabeth studied for both her Masters and ESRC-funded PhD at War Studies at King’s College London and was a Simon O’Dwyer Russell prize-winner (2013). Elizabeth also has a BA degree in German and Philosophy from Wadham College, Oxford University. She also has more than fifteen years’ experience in radio journalism, where she worked in production, reporting and feature-making, mainly for BBC Radio Four.