Prof Hilary Pilkington

Professor in Sociology

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Hilary Pilkington is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester and Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. She has been coordinator or principal investigator of over a dozen large research grants involving multiple international partners. She is currently coordinator of the H2020 DARE (Dialogue about Radicalisation and Equality) project (, which considers the social origins and effects of radicalisation, focusing on young people and on both Islamist and anti-Islam(ist) (extreme right) radicalisations. She is also a member of the coordinating team of the H2020 PROMISE (Promoting youth Involvement and Social Engagement: Opportunities and challenges for ‘conflicted’ young people across Europe) project, as part of which she is engaged in a study of young Muslims' responses to the UK government PREVENT programme.

Hilary has a long standing research interest in youth and youth cultural practices, post-socialist societies and qualitative, especially, ethnographic research methods. Her current research focuses on youth, inclusion and exclusion, political participation, subculture, activism and extremism. Her most recent publications include: Pilkington, H. (2016) Loud and Proud: Passion and Politics in the English Defence League, Manchester: Manchester University Press (winner of the BBC Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award, 2017); Pilkington, H. (2017) ‘Employing meta-ethnography in the analysis of qualitative data sets: A new tool for transnational research projects?’, Qualitative Research (May 2017). DOI: 10.1177/1468794117707805; Pilkington, H. ‘‘EDL Angels stand beside not behind their men’:  the politics of gender and sexuality in an anti-Islam(ist) movement, Gender and Education 29 (2): 238-57; Pilkington, H., Pollock, G. and Franc R. (eds) (2017) Understanding Youth Participation across Europe: From Survey to Ethnography, Basingstoke: PalgraveMacmillan; Pilkington, H. and Pollock, G. (eds) (2015) Radical Futures? Youth, Politics and Activism in Europe, Oxford: Wiley. 

Hilary is currently a member of the Expert Group of the national Commission for Countering Extremism  and recently served as independent Commissioner on the Preventing Violent Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion Commission which seeks to develop a Greater Manchester approach to preventing hateful extremism and strengthening social cohesion.

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