Dr Richard McNeil-Willson is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, Netherlands. He is also a former Max Weber Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence, under the mentorship of Prof Olivier Roy, and a former Research Associate at the Global Governance Programme, European University Institute, Florence. He critically researches policy and practice around extremism and counterterrorism, with a focus on Europe.
Current projects include the DRIVE - Social Inclusion against Radicalisation project, and the Building Resilience against Violent Extremism and Polarisation (BRaVE) project, both funded by the European Commission's Horizon2020 programme. Other projects include the Counterterrorism And Safeguarding in Response to Islamic State (CASIS) Project, funded by Erasmus+ and the CIVICA partnership, and the Proscription of Right-wing Extremist Organisations (PREO) project, funded by the European Commission. Richard is also a consultant researcher for the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, supporting the development of new European policy towards Far Right violence in EU Member States, and was International Advisor for the CHAMPIONs Project at the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), Cluj-Napoca. He has presented research for the EU Commission, the Government of New Zealand and Europol, amongst others.
He has published with several academic journals, as well as publishing the Routledge Handbook of Violent Extremism and Resilience.
Richard has a PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, as an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) scholar. He holds additional degrees from the universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Exeter (UK) and visiting positions at the Centre on Social Movement Studies - Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy) and the University of Aarhus (Denmark).