Dr Raquel da Silva

Dr Raquel da Silva

International Development Department
British Academy Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
International Development Department
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Raquel da Silva is a British Academy Research Fellow at the International Development Department. She writes on terrorism and political violence, with a particular focus on the experiences of former militants and foreign fighters. She also focuses on critical approaches to terrorism, with a specific interest in narratives, life stories and the dialogical self.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Birmingham, 2016
  • MA, Psychology of Justice (Research Master), University of Minho, 2010
  • BA Psychology, University of Minho, 2008

Biography

Dr Raquel da Silva is a British Academy Research Fellow. She holds a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Birmingham, an MA in Psychology of Justice, and a BA in Psychology, both from the University of Minho.

Her research focuses on the pathways of engagement with and disengagement from armed organisations, as well as on radicalisation and deradicalisation processes. She collects interview and social media content data to study the life stories and narrative accounts of former politically violent militants, as well as returned foreign fighters.

Her current research project examines the interplay between narratives of intervention and statebuilding and the life stories of former foreign fighters. This project aims to offer a critical analysis of transnational activism considering the micro narratives of returned Western foreign fighters, the meso narratives of life within ISIS, and the macro narratives behind their struggle produced by the West and ISIS.

She is also a founding member and consultant of ConnectFutures, a social enterprise committed to building trust and collaboration between organisations and communities around topics such as extremism and violence, using research, facilitation and training.

Teaching

Dr Da Silva is not teaching during the 2017-18 academic year.

At her previous posts, she taught postgraduate and undergraduate classes in Research Methods in Psychology, Criminal Psychology, War-Torn States & Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the South, Development Politics and Governance and Statebuilding in Developing Countries.

Research

Research Interests

  • Terrorism and political violence
  • Political psychology of radicalisation and deradicalisation
  • Critical terrorism Studies
  • Narratives, counter-narratives and life story analysis
  • Collective memory / politics of memory
  • Dialogical self theory

Current Projects

Torn between the West and ISIS: the interplay between narratives of intervention and statebuilding and the life stories of former foreign fighters (2017-Present).

Improving Outcomes for Muslim Prisoners (2017-Present).

Research Grants and Awards

R. da Silva (PI) ‘Torn between the West and ISIS: the interplay between narratives of intervention and statebuilding and the life stories of former foreign fighters’, British Academy, 2017-2020.

R. da Silva (Co-I) ‘Improving Outcomes for Muslim Prisoners’ [with ConnectFutures and Saint Giles Trust], NOMS Grant Funding, 2017.

R. da Silva (Co-I) ‘Voices of Refuge: Connecting People through the Stories We Tell’ [with Josefin Graef], Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), 2016.

R. da Silva (Co-I) ‘Educational Enhancement Project Funding Award’ [with Monica Pinilla], Centre for Learning and Academic Development (CLAD), 2014-2015. 

Other activities

Co-founder and consultant for ConnectFutures (2013-ongoing).

Publications

Da Silva, R., Fernández-Narravo, P., Gonçalves, M. M., Rosa, C. and Silva, J.(2019) Tracking narrative change in the context of extremism and terrorism: Adapting the Innovative Moments Coding System. Aggression and Violent Behavior.doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2019.05.002. 

Da Silva, R., Rosa, C and König, J. (in press) “I’m not the same, but I’m not sorry, my ideas and my fight remain the same”: Exploring dialogical positioning in the self-transformation of a former politically violent militant. Journal of Constructivist Psychology.

Da silva, J. R., da Silva, R., Fernández-Navarro, P., Gonçalves, M. M. and Rosa, C. (in press) Understanding extreme violent behaviour in ultra firms: Exploring identity fusion from a dialogical perspective. Journal of Constructivist Psychology

Da Silva, R. and Ferreira, A. (2019) The post-dictatorship memory politics in Portugal that erased political violent activism from the collective memory.Integrative Psychological and Behavioural Science. 53:1, 24-43.

 da Silva, R. (2019) Narratives of political violence: life stories of former militants. London: Routledge.

Da Silva, R. (2018) Narrative resources and political violence: the life stories of former clandestine militants in Portugal. In Nolas, S. M., Varvantakis, C. and Aruldoss, V. (eds.). Political Activism across the Life Course. London: Routledge.

Graef, J., Da Silva, R. and Lemay-Hébert, N. (2018) Narrative, political violence and social change. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. doi: 10.1080/1057610X.2018.1452701.

Da Silva, R., Fernández-Navarro, P., Gonçalves, M. M., Rosa, C. and Silva, J. (2018) Disengagement from political violence and deradicalisation: A narrative-dialogical perspective. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. doi: 10.1080/1057610X.2018.1452709

Da Silva, R. (2017), Narrative resources and political violence: the life stories of former clandestine militants in Portugal, Contemporary Social Sciences, 12(1-2): 40-51.

Da Silva, R. and Crilley, R. (2017), ‘Talk about terror in our back gardens’: An analysis of online comments about British foreign fighters in Syria, Critical Studies on Terrorism, 10(:1): 162-186.

Pinilla-Roncancio, M. and da Silva, R. (2018) Children in Angola: Poverty, deprivation and child labour. ChildIndicators Research. 11, 901-1005

Spalek, B., MacDonald, L., Limbada, Z., Silke, D. and Da Silva, R. (2015), “Counter-terrorism as conflict transformation”., In: Jarvis, L. and Lister M. (eds.) Critical perspectives on counter-terrorism., London: Routledge. pp. 77-90

Spalek, B., MacDonald, Silke, D. and Da Silva, R. (2012), Crime, (In)Security and Islam, Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology, New York: Oxford University Press.

Spalek, B., MacDonald, L., Limbada, Z., Silke, D. And Da Silva, R. (2012), Impacts of counter-terrorism in communities: methodology report, Open Society Foundations and Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Da Silva, R. and Machado, C. (2012), O envolvimento na luta armada política em Portugal: a perspectiva dos seus actors [The involvement in the political armed struggle in Portugal: the perspective of its actors],  Análise Psicológica, 1: 193-213.

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