Dr Elisa Orofino

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER)

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Sociology , Policing

Research Supervision:Yes

Elisa is interested in exploring the dynamics of the process of radicalization among Muslims in the West, looking at both cognitive and behavioural radicalization and the factors determining it.

View Elisa's profile on Academia

Email: elisa.orofino@aru.ac.uk


Born in Catania (Italy) in 1988, Elisa Orofino completed her Bachelor in International Relations at the University of Catania, Faculty of Political Science. Her thesis was on international terrorism, focusing on the US’ and the EU’s approach to this global terror. In 2012, she finished her masters in Global Politics and Euro-Mediterranean Relations, graduating cum laude. Her dissertation was about the “Fourth Wave of Democratization in the MENA region”, focusing on the Egyptian case. Elisa was granted a scholarship to conduct her fieldwork in Egypt, where she spent three months during the revolution.

In 2014, Elisa started her fully funded PhD program at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia. Her project focused on the radicalization of Muslims in Australia and in the UK, taking the organization Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) as a case study. Elisa’s study contributed to the knowledge of “vocal radical Islamist groups” and their appeal, a topic that is not very much explored within the broad universe of radical groups. Elisa finished her PhD in June 2018 and joined PIER at Anglia Ruskin University in October of the same year as a Post-Doc Fellow.

Spoken Languages

  • Italian
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Research interests

  • Muslims in the West
  • Radicalization
  • Terrorism
  • Revivalist Islamic Movements


  • PhD in Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne, 2018
  • Masters in Global Politics and Euro-Mediterranean Relations, University of Catania, 2012
  • Bachelors in International Relations, University of Catania, 2009

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS)
  • Member of the Association for the Sociology of Religion
  • Member of the International Political Science Association
  • Member of the British Sociological Association

Selected recent publications

Orofino, E. 2021. Analysing Nonviolent Extremism in the West Using Qualitative Methods. SAGE Qualitative Dataset.

Orofino, E. 2020. Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Caliphate. London: Routledge.

Orofino, E. 2019. Researching "Intellectual Radicals" in the West. SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Orofino, E. 2018. "Longing for the Caliphate while living in the State: an Agent-Structure Analysis of the Appeal of Hizb ut-Tahrir to Muslims in the West." PhD Thesis, University of Melbourne.

Orofino, E. 2016. Understanding Radical Groups and Radical Youth in the West: A Literature Review, EUMedEA Online Working Paper Series, 1-2016. ISSN 2499-2402.

Journal papers

Orofino, E. 2020. Citizenship in the Minds of Political Islamists. Australian Journal of Islamic Studies, 5:2, 29-50

Orofino, E. 2020. Framing, new social identity and long-term loyalty. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s impact on its members, Social Movement Studies.

Ali,J. and Orofino,E., 2018., Islamic Revivalist Movements in the Modern World: An Analysis of Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, Tabligh Jama’at, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 31:1, 27-54.

Orofino, E. 2015. Intellectual Radicals Challenging the State: the Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the West, Contemporary Social Science, 10:4, 401-412.

Book chapters

Orofino, E. 2021. Hizb ut-Tahrir, Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, Ronald Lukens-Bull and Mark Woodward (eds.),pp. 1-21. New York: Springer. 

Orofino, E. 2020. Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, Ronald Lukens-Bull and Mark Woodward (eds.), pp.1-19. New York: Springer.

Book review

Orofino, E. 2016. Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Ground of British Islamic Activism, Politics, Religion & Ideology, 17:4, 388-390.

Recent presentations and conferences

"The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West the Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir Vis-à-Vis its Competitors", Conference Paper, ICCTR 2019: International Conference on Countering Terrorism and Radicalization, July 18-19 2019, Paris.

“Non-Violent Islamists challenging the West: the case of Hizb ut-Tahrir”, Conference Paper, Fourth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies, April 11-13 2017, Chester Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Chester (UK).

 “The European Union and the Challenge of the Khilafah. From the Root to the Causes: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir”, Conference Paper, 24th IPSA World Congress of Political Science, July 23-28 2016, Poznan (Poland).

“Citizens of the Ummah or Citizens of the State? The European Radical Muslim Youth as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for the European Union: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir,” Conference Paper, 3rd Reshape Annual Workshop on Insecurity Complexes The Response of the EU and the Member States, June 11-12 2015, Catania (Italy).

Media experience

Orofino, E. 'Hizb ut-Tahrir in Turkey - why is the group banned in some countries?', interview with Mahmut Hamsici, BBC Turkey, 22 January 2021.

Orofino, E. A Sicilian girl in among the people of Tahrir Square, column in La Sicilia, daily newspaper, 28 December 2011.

Orofino, E. In Cairo, among thousand contradictions, article for La Sicilia, daily newspaper, 18 October 2011.