Research at Commission for Countering Extremism

The Commission’s work is based on engagement, evidence and impartiality.


Lead commissioner Sara Khan undertook a tour of the country, visiting over 20 towns and cities and speaking to hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds and professions.

At the same time the Commission ran 16 expert workshops bringing together counter extremism practitioners, academics and campaigners to discuss how extremism was presenting to them. Keen to hear diverse and opposing views, Sara also brought together groups of experts and activists who are sceptical of the counter extremism agenda.

In November 2018, Sara launched the first ever public consultation on extremism and received almost 3,000 responses.


Sara began by commissioning Natcen Social Research to produce a review of current academic literature on extremism and YouGov to undertake polling of public attitudes. Natcen has also undertaken a series of focus groups.

Earlier this year Sara commissioned nearly 30 academics to write papers on extremism. These papers are being published over the next few months to coincide with our report.

Papers were commissioned on:

  • the far right
  • Islamism
  • other forms of extremism
  • drivers of extremism
  • extremism online
  • critiquing approaches to countering extremism
  • understanding effective approaches to changing attitudes and behaviour

These papers were commissioned by the Commission for Countering Extremism. However, the information and views expressed in the papers are those of the author(s) and are not the official opinion of the Commission.

The Commission has also analysed data from across 9 different government departments and independent regulators and has reviewed all currently available data from academic bodies and thinktanks.

Read the latest reports, research and statistics from the Commission for Countering Extremism


The Commission is an independent, non-statutory expert committee of the Home Office. When it was formed the Commission agreed a charter with the Home Office which put in writing its ability to work transparently and independently of government. The Commission is free to determine independently its methodologies and the content of its reports, recommendations and public statements. The Commission’s advice for the government and its decisions about who it meets and speaks with are independent of the government. As such the Commission has shown its willingness to meet with anyone willing to engage constructively on the issue of extremism and where justified, acknowledge the good work government has carried out under the counter-extremism strategy and likewise criticise the government when it has fallen short.