As Research Professor and Chair of Global Islamic Politics, The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Prof Barton is one of Australia’s leading scholars of both modern Indonesia and of terrorism and countering violent extremism. For more than 25 years, he has undertaken extensive research on Indonesia politics and society, especially of the role of Islam as both a constructive and a disruptive force. He has been active in the inter-faith dialogue initiatives and has a deep commitment to building understanding of Islam and Muslim society.
The central axis of Prof Barton’s research is the way in which religious thought, individual believers and religious communities respond to modernity and to the modern nation state. He also has a strong interest in international relations and comparative international politics. Since 2004, he has made a comparative study of progressive Islamic thought, with particular reference to Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah in Indonesia and the transnational Hizmet movement inspired by Turkey’s Fethullah Gulen.
Dr Matteo Vergani is Research Fellow at Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. Dr Vergani has a PhD in Sociology, and has published over a dozen research articles directly related to extremism (e.g. “Neojihadist prosumers and Al Qaeda single narrative: the case study of Giuliano Delnevo”, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 2014) and social cohesion/resilience (e.g., “Examining Islamic religiosity and civic engagement in Melbourne, Journal of Sociology, 2016). Dr Vergani recently completed six quantitative studies investigating predictors of radicalization in young Victorians, and has conducted research on countering violent extremism and radicalization in Australia and Europe. He has also worked in Afghanistan with Afghan universities for 2 years (2010-2012). He has multidisciplinary experience in sociology, social-psychology and political science.
Professor Ihsan Yilmaz is Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Understanding at the Alfred Deakin Institute (ADI), Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. He was professor of political science at Istanbul Fatih University between 2008-2016, lecturer in law at SOAS, University of London between 2001-2008 and research scholar at Center for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford between 1999-2001.
His current research interests are nation-building & Islam & citizenship; equal citizenship in Islamic state; Islam-constitutional law-human rights; Muslim secularism; Muslim perceptions of democracy, secularism, pluralism, modernity and radicalism in the West; and non-state-centric Muslim political philosophy.
Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed is a researcher focusing on peace and security in the Muslim world.