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Dr. Nafees Hamid

Dr. Nafees Hamid

Senior Research Fellow

Nafees Hamid is a Senior Research Fellow at ICSR and the Research & Policy Director for the XCEPT project. He is a cognitive scientist who focuses on political violence, radicalisation, and social fragmentation. His research includes face-to-face interviews, survey studies, social network analysis, psychology and neuroscience experiments with members and supporters of extremist movements such as jihadist organisations, White Nationalists, QAnon devotees, and former armed group members from around the world. He is most known for his ground-breaking research on the first-ever brain imaging studies of extremists (i.e. jihadist supporters). This research garnered wide-spread public interest and was singled out by senior policy-makers and practitioners as one of the most insightful pieces of research in countering extremism and political violence.

In his leadership position in XCEPT, he looks at how trauma and mental health intersect with social-structural factors to determine pathways to peace versus violence in fragile and conflict affected states. The research he has conducted and directed has covered Western Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, South Sudan, and is collaborating on research on former armed actors in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Columbia. He has advised many NGOs, inter-governmental organisations, and governments including on the national strategies for the rehabilitation of and reintegration of defected foreign fighters in North Africa and the Balkans. He has advised and briefed on P/CVE policies to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, the Global Coalition, the FCDO, US State and Defense departments, and the French Prime Minister’s office, among many others.

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