I am a research professor interested in understanding how contexts characterised by conflict, distrust and violence can be re-negotiated in order to create spaces of empowerment and security. I have undertaken research exploring community-based approaches to preventing violence, community-based approaches to counter-terrorism, police and community engagement, inter and intra community tensions and social cohesion, and critical thinking skills in relation to working with violent extremism.
I have led international, national and local research projects for wide-ranging organisations, including the European Commission, the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Royal United Services Institute, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Home Office and West Midlands Police. My works has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Union, alongside other funders.
I have also researched victimisation, victims' needs and victims' rights. I am a BACP registered and practising Integrative Psychotherapist and I provide therapy for a wide range of different clients within diverse settings, including prisons, community contexts and at trauma clinics. I am a specialist in working with trauma and my latest book Crime Victims and Trauma is due to be published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan. I am interested in applying an integrative psychotherapeutic framework to non-clinical settings, for example for agencies of the criminal justice system, for community leaders, for counter-radicalisation initiatives.
I am currently a member of the UK People's Tribunal on Child Sexual Abuse http://ukcsapt.org.uk/. We are collecting information about institutional child sexual abuse in order to provide material for the Independent UK inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse.
I teach on the MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Derby.
Counter-terrorism, radicalisation, victimisation, trauma and conflict.
Membership of professional bodies
Nominated Expert on 'Compensation of victims, prevention of crime and related aspects relevant to the security of citizens’ for the Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham, a successful tender to provide for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency reports and other services on human rights in the United Kingdom.
Registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Experience in industry
I have acted as a consultant to the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD, an internationally known research and consultancy organisation), the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI, a Whitehall based governmental think tank), HM Prison Service, Wilton Park (a forum for global change), the Department for Communities and Local Government in the UK, the Australian Government Families & Communities Taskforce, the North Sea Working group on Proactive Policing in the Global Neighbourhood, the Open Society Institute, based in Budapest, the OSCE and I am currently a rapporteur to the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).
These activities have influenced policy and practice. For example, my work for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) involved writing a horizon scanning policy document on equality issues for the future, which the Equality and Diversity Lead within the CPS used to develop future practices from. My work for the ISD and for RUSI helped to focus policy makers’ attention upon the impacts of counter-terrorism measures on communities. My work with the Australian Government involved presenting a policy paper on the risks posed by radicalisation in relation to families.
Additional interests and activities
I am an enthusiastic runner and regularly complete Marathons and Half Marathons
- Spalek, B. (forthcoming, 2016) Trauma and Victimisation: theory, policy and practice Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
- Crabtree, S., Husain, F. & Spalek, B. (eds) (2014) Islam and Social Work: debating values, transforming work Bristol: Policy Press
- Spalek, B. (2013) Governing Terror: trust, community and counter-terrorism Bloomsbury Academic Press
- Silk, D., Spalek, S. & O’Rawe, M. (eds) (2013) Preventing Ideological Violence: case studies of police-community partnership New York: Palgrave Macmillan
- Spalek, B. (ed) (2012) Counter-terrorism: community-based approaches to preventing terror crime Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
- Spalek, B. (forthcoming 2016) ‘Radicalisation, De-Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation in relation to Families: key challenges for research, policy and practice’ Security Journal
- Spalek, B. (2014) ‘Community Engagement for Preventing Violence: the role of connectors’Conflict and Terrorism Studies Vol. 37 (10) pp. 825-841
- Spalek, B. & O’Rawe, M. (2013) ‘Researching counter-terrorism: a critical perspective from the field in light of allegations of covert activities by undercover police officers’ Critical Studies on Terrorism Vol. 10 (1) pp. 1-15
- Spalek, B. & Davies, L. (2012) ‘Mentoring in relation to Violent Extremism: a study of role, purpose and outcomes’ Conflict and Terrorism Studies Vol.35(5) pp. 354-368
- Spalek, B. (2011) ‘New Terrorism’ and Crime Prevention Initiatives Involving
- Muslim Young People in the UK: Research and Policy Contexts, Religion, State and Society, 39(2-3) pp. 191-207