Matteo Vergani

Matteo Vergani
Deakin University · Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation

PhD

About

59
Publications
34,606
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
I am Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Senior Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation @ Deakin University. My major area of expertise is the study of prejudice and hate, with a main focus on the empirical evaluation of prevention and reduction programs. I have experience in researching prejudice against immigrants and religious out-groups, and the online propaganda of extremist and violent political groups. I have a good working knowledge of quantitative research, experimental methods and mixed-methods research approaches.
Additional affiliations
April 2014 - present
Deakin University
Position
  • Research Assistant
October 2013 - present
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Teaching Associate
May 2013 - present
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we present the findings of the first systematic scoping review of scientific literature on radicalisation into violent extremism since the al-Qaeda 9/11 attacks in 2001. We selected and categorised all scholarly, peer-reviewed, English-language articles published between 2001 and 2015 that empirically investigated the factors of ra...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the reach and influence of far-right ideologies have been extended through online communities with devastating effects in the real world. In this research, we examine how far-right online communities can be empowered by socio-political events that are significant to them. Using over 14 years of data extracted from an Australian nat...
Article
Full-text available
Whether hate crime against minority groups increases or decreases over time underpins important theoretical and policy questions. However, the ability to capture trends is limited due to a dearth of data and measurement problems, especially in countries where there is no official register of hate crime. Using Chile as a case study, we compare longi...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has identified numerous barriers to reporting hate crimes. However, high variability exists in the outcome measures considered across multiple studies, including whether hate crimes encompass non-criminal behaviours, whether victims’ perceptions are considered bias indicators, and whether the incident is reported to police or to o...
Article
We used data from an Australian community register to build a database containing 673 incidents, including both criminal and non-criminal anti-Semitic acts that occurred between October 2013 and September 2017. We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to explore the differences in the types of incidents associated with different trigger eve...
Article
Full-text available
Background People of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background face significant barriers in accessing effective health services in multicultural countries such as the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. To address these barriers, government and nongovernment organisations globally have taken the approach of creating ethno-spe...
Article
Full-text available
The overallaim of the review is to map the definitions and measurement tools used to capture the whole spectrum of hate motivated behaviors, including hate crime, hate speech and hate incidents. This will benefit the field of hate studies by providing a baseline that can inform the building of cumulative knowledge and comparative research. The firs...
Article
Full-text available
This study suggests that terrorism concerns can hinder the effect of prejudice reduction interventions based on education and outgroup knowledge. There is accordance in the literature that individuals who possess more knowledge about Muslim people and Islam are less likely to have anti‐Muslim prejudice. We conducted secondary analyses of data from...
Article
Although there are widespread concerns about support for political violence among people affiliated with mainstream political parties, this topic remains largely under-researched. This article examines the relationship between the respondents’ support for political violence and their endorsement of social and political positions that are highly div...
Chapter
The case study contributions to this book reveal the importance of recognising the full range of actors involved in P/CVE and the need to foster deep collaboration between these diverse stakeholders. Greater collaboration between these actors is necessary to help create more effective programs and responses and facilitate more efficient alignment b...
Chapter
This booklet is intended to complement William’s guidebook (2021) and existing P/CVE toolkits, in particular RAND’s toolkit (Helmus et al., 2017), Hedayah’s evaluation toolkit (Mattei & Zeiger, 2018), USIP’s introduction to evaluation (Holmer et al., 2018) and International Alert and UNDP’s toolkits (Holdaway & Ruth, 2018). It seeks to offer practi...
Chapter
This chapter examines what we know about radicalisation and recruitment into violent extremism in Indonesia over the past 70 years. It reviews the emergence of proto-Islamist violent extremism in Indonesia (well before the first formulations of jihadi thought by Egypt’s Sayyid Qutb) with the Darul Islam (DI) movement in the early 1950s. It tracks t...
Chapter
This chapter examines the pressing need for widely available rehabilitation and disengagement P/CVE programs in Indonesia. Whilst the overwhelming majority of P/CVE programs in Indonesia have focussed on primary intervention initiatives there have been a number of innovative pilot projects conducting tertiary interventions, some of which are covere...
Chapter
This chapter examines the findings of three annual capacity gap analysis surveys of civil society organisations (CSOs) belonging to the SEAN-CSO network (South East Asian Network of Civil Society Organisations working against violent extremism), which is a network that brings together key regional civil society organisations working on P/CVE-relate...
Book
This book provides an overview of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) to assist readers in developing a more complete understanding of P/CVE and the issues of radicalisation, disengagement and rehabilitation. It shines a light on some key P/CVE programmes and initiatives in Indonesia and is written to facilitate understanding preven...
Article
Responses to hate crimes, hate incidents and hate speech are characterised by an exceptional fragmentation in terminology and lack of coordination among governmental and non-governmental organisations. This article proposes a new conceptual framework to map the diversity of responses to hate crime, hate incidents and hate speech, with the aim of as...
Article
Scholars continue to wrestle with determining the extent and ways in which religiosity – and particularly more strict religious views and practices – provides fertile ground for the emergence and growth of terrorism. Using large samples of Muslim respondents from across the Indonesian archipelago, we find that: (1) higher levels of orthodox religio...
Article
Full-text available
A 21st-century growth in prevalence of extreme right-wing nationalism and social conservatism in Australia, Europe, and America, in certain respects belies the positive impacts of online, new, and alternative forms of global media. Cross-national forms of ‘far-right activism’ are unconfined to their host nations; individuals and organisations campa...
Article
Full-text available
This IMR Research Note examines the impact of the level of bonding social capital on access to employment among newly arrived Afghan refugees in Victoria (Australia). Based on a mixed-methods analysis of biographical interviews with 80 Afghan refugees, it examines their use of social capital, year by year, during the first three years after their a...
Article
Full-text available
The role of online communities of the extreme-right in the radicalization of individuals involved in political violence has received increased public attention due to recent tragic events around the world. In this policy brief, we provide a systematic account of the psychological processes underpinning the formation and transformation of these comm...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates whether the perceived threat of terrorism explains the support for right-wing Eurosceptic parties and Euroscepticism above and beyond other relevant variables, including perceived economic and immigration threats. We first examined the entire Eurobarometer samples of 2014 and 2015, and then conducted survey experiments in...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the increasing citizen engagement with socio-political online communities, little is known about how such communities are affected by significant offline events. Thus, we investigate here the ways in which the collective identity of a far-right online community is affected by offline intergroup conflict. We examine over 14 years of online c...
Preprint
The role of online communities in shaping behaviours ‘in real life’ (IRL) is well-established, however, less is known about how such communities are affected by offline events. Thus, we investigate here the ways in which the collective identity of a far-right online community is affected by offline intergroup conflict. That is, we examine over 14 y...
Article
This article empirically investigates the relationship between intercultural contact, factual and self-reported knowledge of Islam, and prejudice against Muslims in Australia. We propose an original measure of factual knowledge of Islam, based on the measurement of political sophistication, used alongside more established measures of intercultural...
Chapter
This chapter presents the results of two experiments conducted in Australia. The experiments ask participants to think about their own death and examine whether individual attitudes (such as political orientation and opinions about immigrants) moderate mortality salience (MS) effects on political attitudes. The findings show that participants expos...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the existing theoretical approaches and empirical research on the consequences of terrorism threat on group identity. It draws on historical examples and theories developed in the social, psychological and political sciences (such as Social Identity Theory and Self-Categorization Theory) to understand the effects that the thr...
Chapter
This chapter considers individual mechanisms to examine the effects of terrorism on political attitudes. The sudden appearance of death in a daily and familiar scenario such as a train station, a crowded promenade or a rock concert makes people think about their own death. Death is a powerful motive of human action, and numerous psychological theor...
Book
This book examines how the perception of terrorism threat erodes civil liberties, sows doubt about the loyalties of immigrants, and heightens the left-right ideological divide. The book presents original analysis of survey data and experiments conducted in Australia, Europe and the United States. Research in the book posits questions that others ha...
Chapter
This chapter presents a detailed discussion of the results of two experiments using real cases to evoke death thoughts and worldview defence. The first experiment examines the reactions to the exposure to news excerpts relating to flight MH17, which was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Melbourne. The second exp...
Chapter
This chapter presents original analysis of national survey data from Australia, Europe and the United States to show that some ideological groups are more predisposed to perceive an exaggerated threat of terrorism than others. Additionally, this chapter examines if individuals who are concerned about terrorism are also concerned about other issues...
Chapter
This chapter discusses how the threat of terrorism can contribute to pushing democracy to its limits. First, it can increase support for draconian policies and anti-system attitudes. Second, it can exacerbate the differences between ideological and religious groups. Third, it can erode trust between immigrants and host societies. In this concluding...
Chapter
This chapter further expands the theoretical and empirical understanding of the issue by looking at the role of the media in increasing the perception of terrorism threats. This chapter discusses why journalists prioritize terrorism news, even in the face of events of similar or greater destructive magnitude such as natural disasters, accidents and...
Article
Full-text available
Terror management theory (TMT) proposes that evoking death-related thoughts (mortality salience; MS) in individuals or groups can lead to stronger worldview defence and greater support for extremist violence. In three experiments, we tested whether an MS manipulation, and associated moderators, increased support for extremist violence. In Australia...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate differences in the psychological aspects underpinning Western mobilisation of two terrorist groups by analysing their English-language propaganda. Based on a computerised analysis of the language used in two English-language online magazines circulated by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda (i.e., Dabiq and Inspire),...
Preprint
Full-text available
We investigate differences in the psychological aspects underpinning Western mobilisation of two terrorist groups by analysing their English-language propaganda. Based on a computerized analysis of the language used in two English-language online magazines circulated by ISIS and al-Qaeda (i.e., Dabiq and Inspire), we found significant differences i...
Preprint
We investigate differences in the psychological aspects underpinning Western mobilisation of two terrorist groups by analysing their English-language propaganda. Based on a computerized analysis of the language used in two English-language online magazines circulated by ISIS and al-Qaeda (i.e., Dabiq and Inspire), we found significant differences i...
Article
Full-text available
Objective : There is no research examining alcohol-related aggression and anti-social behaviour in UK or European sportspeople (athletes), and no research has examined relationships between masculinity, alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related aggression and antisocial behaviour in sportspeople (athletes). This study addresses this gap. Design Cro...
Article
Social relationships play a vitally important role in enabling political mobilization because they link people into networks of trusted others and they provide a sense of belonging, affirmation and sense of purpose. It is much less clear, however, why some individuals who are socially connected with individuals with positive attitudes towards viole...
Article
Full-text available
Using terror management theory, we examined whether mortality salience (MS; death-related cognitions) increased support for religious and political extremism and/or violent extremism in young Indonesian Muslims. Muslim and non-Muslim Indonesian students studying in Australia were randomized to an MS or control condition. Following completion of a d...
Conference Paper
This paper presents the main results of a national survey on active aging, with a sample of 900 Italians between 65 and 74 years of age. The research attempted to understand the role of ICT in the daily life of the elderly, in the attempt to answer the following questions: (1) What are the differences between the connected and not connected elderly...
Article
Full-text available
With geopolitical concerns surrounding the rise of militant, transnational groups who draw on Islamic texts for legitimacy, the place of Islam in western societies has become a source of anxiety, fear and suspicion. The central concern is whether Muslims living in the West have the capacity to become fully active citizens. This article uses quantit...
Article
Full-text available
Italy, as well as most European countries, has been hit by a wave of anxiety arising from groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, whose effects on political attitudes are still under-examined. This article investigates the effect of the perceived threat of Islamic terrorism as a potential driver for a ‘right turn’ in the Catholic Italian electorate with...
Article
This article defines and assesses the ideal-type of the radical criminal as the analytical framework for a comparative qualitative study of Mexican religious drug cartels and Australian outlaw motorcycle gangs and concludes that radical criminals operate in both weak and failed states and stable democracies. The article participates in the wider di...
Article
Full-text available
YouTube videos offer a rare opportunity to gain an insight into the sequestered world of neojihadism. This study examines and compares the lines of the visual narrative associated with two Asian insurgencies that help to form the global Islamic social movement: the insurgency in Chechnya (North Caucasus) and that in Xinjiang (China). The purpose of...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we investigate the evolution of ISIS by analysing the text contained in Dabiq, the offi- cial ISIS’ internet magazine in English. Specifically, we used a computerized text analysis pro-gram LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) to investigate the evolution of the language of the first 11 Issues of Dabiq. First, our analysis showe...
Article
Scholars in the field of terrorism and violent extremism often refer to the so-called Al Qaeda single narrative. This article suggests that the Internet challenges the existence of a “single narrative,” by arguing that neo-Jihadist prosumers may reinterpret Al Qaeda's narrative and create hybrid symbols and identities. The article discusses the cas...
Article
While there are relevant studies on both local political subcultures and party activism in Italy, the literature misses the relations between these two social and political phenomena. This article aims at bridging the lacuna by presenting a typology of the local branches of the Italian PD (Democratic Party) based on the relationship between the fea...
Article
Full-text available
The diffusion of digital media allows the emergence of new types of relations between grassroots campaigners and organisers. This article presents the results of a comparative qualitative study of two Italian cases of grassroots online participation: a local electoral campaign and a single-issue social movement. The first case is ‘Tell your Milano’...
Chapter
The uprising in Tibet, which gained the attention of the global media during the preparation for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and the ethnic riots in Xinjiang in 2009 showed Western audiences the extent of the ethnic conflict between China’s Han ethnic majority and its ethnic minority groups, the Uyghurs being one of them. In the late twentieth ce...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the uses of YouTube by Uyghur nationalist movement activists and studies various ideological codes used by different communities to promote their messages. It argues that several ideological codes are produced in order to challenge the dominant ideologies promoted by the Chinese government, which create a ground for Uyghur ‘imag...
Article
Partendo da una discussione della letteratura sul rapporto tra internet e partecipazione politica, l’articolo individua alcune domande di ricerca che riguardano i «mediatori» tradizionali della partecipazione nelle democrazie rappresentative: sistema politico e sistema dei media. I media digitali sono in grado di favorire un processo di «disinterme...
Article
The article investigates whether or not party activists are potential opinion leaders, presenting the results of field research on four local branches of the Italian PD (Democratic Party). First, the article examines the most relevant “opinion leaders” theories, proposing an original method for recognising potential opinion leaders: the identificat...
Article
The article discusses the impact of digital technologies on visual sociology, discussing opportunities and challenges. The essay describes the main traditional visual techniques of research, and suggests a methodological approach through the distinction between «multidimensional» techniques and «mono-dimensional» techniques. The work discusses the...
Article
The uprising in Tibet, that gained the attention of the global mediascape during the preparation of Beijing Olympics, showed the western audiences the extent of ethnic contradictions that China has been facing. In addition to the Han-Tibetan affair, the Great Wall hides another complicated clash between the Uyghurs and Han Chinese. Uyghurs, a Turki...

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The project focuses on contemporary manifestations of racism and extremism in online spaces. It examines intragroup and intergroup processes in online communities of the far-right.
Project
The overarching purpose of the project is to develop young people’s knowledge and critical literacy skills to recognise and build resilience to manipulative, coercive forms of hate speech and extremism that encourage them to think and behave in harmful ways. The project also emphasises the positive dimensions of supporting young people’s development as capable and critically literate users of digital media. The project requires deep knowledge of the challenges presented by the use of social media and the internet on processes of radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism, of the nature of social media and digital culture and their place in young people’s lives, and of best practice educationally in teaching with and about these issues. The design which nests the pilot within rigorous research and the expertise of the assembled team with respect to teaching and learning, media education and the challenges of violent extremism and recruitment provides a highly focused and powerful combination of skills to achieve this.