Dr Chris Allen

Chris Allen

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Lecturer in Social Policy / Admissions Director, UG Social Policy programmes

Contact details

Department of Social Policy and Social Work
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Chris Allen is a Lecturer in Social Policy. He is based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham where he is the Acting Director of Undergraduate Social Policy Programmes and Programme Lead on the Policy, Politics & Economics (PPE) programme.

Follow Chris on Facebook.

Browser does not support script.


  • PhD (Birmingham)
  • BA (Wolverhampton)


For the past decade, Chris has been at the forefront of academic research into the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Having completed his Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded doctoral studies that explored the discourse and theory of the phenomenon here at the University, he has since gone on to develop research that has had social, political and public appeal. As well as appearing regularly in the media, in recent years Chris has worked alongside Government in an advisory capacity. Having submitted both written and oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, Chris also sits as an independent expert on the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred based in the Department for Communities & Local Government.

In 2010, Ashgate published Chris book entitled "Islamophobia". With this publication, Chris became the first academic to put forward a full theoretical exposition of Islamophobia whilst establishing a new definition of the phenomenon. Critically acclaimed, Dr Sophie Gilliat-Ray (Director of the Islam-UK Centre, Cardiff University) wrote how the book "will become a standard work of reference, as well as stimulating future discussion". Prof Ron Geaves (Liverpool Hope University) noted how the "book is both timely and relevant and provides the depth of enquiry and investigation needed to deal with a highly contested phenomenon". Whilst Prof Jørgen S. Nielsen (Centre for European Islamic Thought, University of Copenhagen) noted how the book made "a substantial contribution to clearing up much of the confusion around a term which is usually emotionally and politically loaded".

In addition to the monograph, Chris continues to publish on that topic and other key issues facing contemporary Muslim communities in countries as Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland. He was also the co-author of the seminal EUMC report into Islamophobia in Europe after 9/11.

Before taking up his current post, Chris was the Director of Research and Policy at a Birmingham-based human rights charity, BRAP.

As well as Islamophobia his other research interests include: the role of faith and religion in the public and political spaces; issues around diversity, multiculturalism and super-diversity; equalities legislation, policy and practice; inclusion, exclusion, integration and cohesion.


At present, Chris teaches on a range of modules and programmes across the School of Social Policy. These include:

UG Year 1
Introduction to Social Policy Social Issues
Social Welfare and Social Inequalities

UG Year 2
Social Policy research Methods
Social Inclusion

UG Year 3
New Migration & Super-Diversity

Foundation Academy
Social Policy & Social Welfare

Researching Social Policy
New Migration & Super-Diversity

Other activities

Chris Allen has contributed to the University of Birmingham's Predictor Podcasts, which feature academic experts discussing current and future research in their specialist field. Download Chris's podcasts below:


Allen, C. (2012) “El auge del British national Party: política antimusulmana y política del miedo” in Frank Peter & Rafael Ortega (eds.) Los movimientos islámicos transnacionales y la emergencia de un ‘islam europeo’ (Madrid: Edicions Bellaterra, 2012).  

Allen, C. & Guru, S. (2012) "Between Political Fad and Political Empowerment: A Critical Evaluation of the National Muslim Women's Advisory Group (NMWAG) and Governmental Processes of Engaging Muslim Women" Sociological Research Online, 17 (3) 17

‘A part of the fabric of everyday life: Islamophobia in contemporary Britain’ in Siddiqui, A. & Lamb, C. (eds.) Meeting Muslims. Leicester: Christians Aware, 2012.

‘One size doesn’t fit all: considerations on the teaching of Islamophobia as an academic subject’ in Perspectives: teaching Islamic Studies in higher education (Issue 3/ November 2011).

(2011) Opposing Islamification or promoting Islamophobia? Understanding the English Defence League, in Patterns of Prejudice (Vol 45, Issue 4).

(2011) "We don't do God": a critical retrospective of New Labour's approaches to 'religion or belief' and 'faith' in Journal of Culture and Religion (Vol. 12, issue 3).

Allen, C and Phillimore, J (2011), Reach in evaluation: Building the capacity of housing providers and refugee communities, London: HACT.

Allen, C. (2010) Islamophobia. London: Ashgate. (Available from www.islamophobiabook.com).

Allen, C. (2010) 'Fear and loathing: the political discourse in relation to Muslims and Islam in the contemporary British setting', in Politics and Religion, vol. 4(2), Autumn 2010).

Allen, C. (2010), 'Keeping it simple and stupid: theoretical considerations on the concept of Islamophobia' in Sayyid, S and Vakil, A (eds), Thinking through Islamophobia.  London: Hurst and Co.

Allen, C. (2009) The nature of the beast’ in Bunzl, J. & Hafez, F., (eds.) Islamophobie in Österreich. StudienVerlag: Vienna.

Allen, C. (2009) 'Down with multiculturalism, book-burning and fatwas': the death of multiculturalism and its implications for Muslims in Journal for Culture and Religion, No 2, Vol 8.

Allen, C (2009) The 'Religion or Belief' Equality Strand in Law and Policy: Current Implications for Equalities and Human Rights.  London: British Humanist Association.

Allen, C. (2007) 'Islamaphobia in Europe' in Amghar, S, Boubekeur, A and Emerson, M (eds) European Islam: The challenges for public policy and society.  Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.

Allen, C. (2006), (Muslim) Boyz-n-the-Hood in International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World Review, Leiden, NL: ISIM.

Follow this link for further publications by Chris Allen (pdf; 84KB; opens in new window)


Islamophobia and other key issues facing contemporary Muslim communities in today's Europe including the far-right, diversity, integration and immigration

Media experience

Chris is a frequent contributor in the print and broadcast media to the debate about Islamophobia and the growth of the far right. He has recently spoken about the impact of recent riots on the perception of Muslims (BBC News Online) and the changing attitudes to Muslims since 9/11 for a wide range of UK and International outlets.

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office