Since 2008 Robert Lambert has taught, lectured and supervised dissertations on the CSTPV e-learning MLitt terrorism studies course.

In July 2011 Lambert took the CSTPV lead in a partnership with Dr. Basia Spalek and Dr. Laura Zara McDonald, University of Birmingham, founders of Police Community Engagement for Conflict Resolution (PCCT), a new collaborative hub developed with practitioners, community organisations and academics. International, independent and inclusive, PCCT aims to research, discuss and exchange academic and practice-based knowledge from all perspectives in relation to engagement in the counter-terrorism arena. For details visit: http://www.pcct-hub.org/

Research interests

Lambert’s twin research interests are community-based approaches to counter-terrorism and Islamophobia. Both topics are reflected in his book Countering al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership published by Hurst in September 2011.

Research projects

From July 2011 CSTPV partnership with University of Birmingham in developing a new PCCT research hub (see link above).

From September 2009, with Jonathan Githens-Mazer conducting Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime research at EMRC, University of Exeter (see link above).

From January 2008 until July 2009 with Dr. Jonathan Githens-Mazer researching for ESRC funded Cultures of Repression: the Legacy of Colonial Violence and State Repression in the Maghreb, and its Effect on North African Diasporas in Europe. The prime focus to the project rested on interviews with Muslim Londoners with rich experience of political violence and political activism in North Africa and Europe.

Consultant from October 2007 to Dr. Basia Spalek, Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham in AHRC funded An Examination of Partnership Approaches to Challenging Religiously-Endorsed Violence involving Muslim Groups and Police.

Advisory board member from October 2008 to Prof. Mary Hickman’s ESRC funded A comparative study of the representations of ‘suspect’ communities in multi-ethnic Britain and of their impact on Muslim and Irish communities at London Metropolitan University. For details visit: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-units/iset/projects/esrc-suspect-communities.cfm


For the bulk of his police service (1977–2007) Robert Lambert worked in counter-terrorism, gaining operational experience of all forms of violent political threats to the UK, from Irish republican to the many strands of international terrorism that include what may now best be described as the al-Qaida movement. One common denominator in all the many and varied terrorist recruitment strategies he witnessed over the years is the exploitation of a sense of political injustice amongst susceptible youth. Throughout his police career Lambert placed value on street or grass roots perspectives over more rigid top down security approaches to counter-terrorism.

In January 2002, together with a colleague Lambert set up the Muslim Contact Unit (MCU), with the purpose of establishing partnerships with Muslim community leaders both equipped and located to help tackle the spread of al-Qaida propaganda in London. This role enabled him to participate in some pioneering and successful counter-terrorism community engagement projects. It also provided Lambert with opportunities to support Muslim community groups when they have faced Islamophobic attacks. In recognition he was presented with the first ‘Friends of Islam’ Award by Dr. Abdul Bari, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain, at the annual Global, Peace and Unity event in November 2007 and a ‘Building Bridges’ award at Islam Expo in July 2008. In June 2008 he was awarded an MBE for his police service.

In October 2005 Lambert embarked on a parallel academic project, researching key aspects of MCU partnership experience. In January 2010 he was awarded a PhD for The London Partnerships: an insider’s analysis of legitimacy and effectiveness in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter. This followed a path of part-time academic activity: in 2004 he was awarded a distinction for his MA dissertation on early modern English encounters with Islam at Birkbeck College, University of London; and in 2002, 1st class honours for an inter-disciplinary European cultural history BA at the Open University.


Countering al-Qaida in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership Hurst, London. September (2011)


Book chapters

(2012) Counter-terrorism and its effectiveness in the UK since 1969: does it pay to be tough on terrorism? In Marie Breen-Smyth, ed. Ashgate Companion to Political Violence Ashgate, Aldershot (in preparation).

(2012) Violence against mosques, Islamic institutions and Muslim organisations in the UK. In Max Taylor and P.M. Curry eds Extreme Right Wing Political Violence and Terrorism Continuum Press, London (in preparation).

(2012) Extremist nationalism in Europe and support for Israel. In Daud Abdullah and Ibrahim Hewitt, eds., The battle for European public opinion: Changing perspectives of the conflict in Palestine Plato Press, London (in preparation).

(2011) Competing Counter-Radicalisation Models in the UK. In Rik Coolsaet, ed., Jihadi Terrorism and the Radicalisation Challenge. European and American Experiences Ashgate, Aldershot. October. pp. 215–225.

(2011)Community Intervention as an Engagement Strategy - al-Qaeda in London in W. Zartman and G.O. Faure, eds., Engaging Extremists: Trade-offs, Timing and Diplomacy Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace (USIP), pp. 81–105.

(2010) with Basia Spalek. Policing within a Counter-Terrorism Context Post 7/7: The Importance of Partnership, Dialogue and Support when Engaging with Muslim Communities in Roger Eatwell and Matthew J. Goodwin eds. The ‘New’ Extremism in 21st Century Britain London: Routledge, 2010.

(2010) with Jonathan Githens-Mazer. Suicide terrorism; Grievance & the final act: The 7/7 bombers & suicide terrorism in the 21st Century in Leo Sher and Alexander Vilens, eds., Terror and Suicide New York: Nova Science Publishers.

(2009) Tackling Terrorism and Hate Crime in London: a Brixton case study. In Thomas Pick, Anne Speckhard, Beatrice Jacuch, eds., Home-Grown Terrorism: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalisation among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe - IOS Press, Amsterdam, NATO series.

(2009) with Basia Spalek and Abdul Haqq Baker. Minority Muslim Communities and Criminal Justice: Stigmatised UK Faith Identities Post 9/11 and 7/7 in: H.Bui (ed) Race and the Criminal Justice System London: Sage, 2009.

Academic articles

(2010) with Jonathan Githens-Mazer. Why conventional wisdom on radicalization fails: the persistence of a failed discourse International Affairs 86: 4.

(2008) Empowering Salafis and Islamists Against Al-Qaeda: A London Counter-terrorism Case Study Political Science and Politics Jan 2008. 41(1), pp. 31–35.

(2008) Salafi and Islamist Londoners: Stigmatised Minority Faith Communities Countering al-Qaida, Crime Law and Social Change. Special Issue, 50. pp.73–89.

(2008) with Basia Spalek, Muslim Communities, Counter-terrorism and Counter-radicalisation: a critically reflective approach to engagement International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice Studies 2008, pp. 257–270.

(2007) with Basia Spalek, Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Muslim Community Engagement post 9/11 in: R. Roberts & W. McMahon (eds) Social Justice and Criminal Justice London: Centre for Crime & Justice Studies, 2007, pp. 202–214.

Academic interview

(2008) Richard Jackson, Counter-terrorism and communities: an interview with Robert Lambert. Critical Studies on Terrorism. August, pp. 293–308.

Lectures, conference papers, debates (from September 2011 only)

(2011) Countering al-Qaeda in London. Paper based on book. Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence (CSRV), University of Aberystwyth. 5 December.

(2011) Community based approaches to counter-terrorism. Paper to conference organised by Dr. Rob Johnson at All Souls, Oxford. 30 November.

(2011) Paper to Victims of Terrorism Conference, CSTPV, St. Andrews. 17 November.

(2011) CSTPV paper regarding definition, causes and impact of terrorism to Middle East Faculty at NATO Defence College in Rome. 2 November.

(2011) Present research findings to One Society Many Cultures conference at TUC House, London regarding extremist nationalist political violence and Anders Breivik. 15 October.

(2011) Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations and University of Ghent, Brussels. Paper to Terrorism, Radicalisation & De-Radicalisation: European and American Experiences conference based on chapter Competing Counter-Radicalisation Models in the UK, see above. 12 October.

(2011) Edinburgh Law School. Reflecting on 10 Years Since 9/11 – Policing Muslim Communities. 4 October. Paper and book launch.

(2011) ESRC Seminar series at Leicester University in association with Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick. Countering Terrorism without creating ‘Suspect’ Communities. Paper to “Migrants, ethnic minorities, Muslims as objects of global surveillance”. 29 September.

(2011) Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Doha. Countering al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership. Lecture and book launch. 25 September.

(2011) International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Paper to International Conference on Community Engagement. 22 September.

(2011) A Decade of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism. International conference. Plenary paper, public debate and workshop, plus book launch. Strathclyde University. 8 – 10 September.

Research reports

(2011) with Jonathan Githens-Mazer. Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK case studies. Exeter: EMRC, University of Exeter. January

(2010) with Jonathan Githens-Mazer. Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: a London case study. Exeter: European Muslim Research Centre, University of Exeter. January

Journal articles

Was Anders Breivik a psychotic spree killer or a calculating terrorist? RUSI commentary. August.(2011)

(2011) Islamophobia in Early Modern England. Arches Quarterly Cordoba Foundation, London, 4 (8), pp. 98–109.

(2011) British Muslim Organisations: The Target of an Orchestrated Neocon Campaign of Denigration Arches Quarterly 4 (7) Cordoba Foundation, London, pp. 128–142.

(2011) with Jonathan Githens-Mazer. The fiery birth of the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy: England’s Summer of Discontent, ten years on. 3 June.

(2011) Listening to the Victims of Terrorism. CSTPV journal, opinion piece. 2 (1) 14 January.

(2010) Counter-Productive Counter-Terrorism: The Legacy of George Bush and Tony Blair. Arches Quarterly 3 (5) Cordoba Foundation, London, pp. 48–52.

(2008) with Basia Spalek, Muslim Communities under Surveillance: a stigmatised faith identity post 9/11. Criminal Justice Matters Security and Surveillance, 68. pp. 12–13.

(2008) with Basia Spalek and Salwa El-Awa, Preventing Violent Extremism in Prison: Key Policy and Practice Issues. Prison Service Journal . 2008. pp. 45–54.

(2007) Reflections on Counter-Terrorism. Partnerships in Britain Arches 5, February.

(2007) Community partnerships against terrorism Arches journal, Cordoba Foundation, January.

(2007) with Bill Tupman, Building Bridges Intersec: Journal of International Security, 2007, 17 (2), 29–31.

Blogs and commentaries

Guardian: Comment is Free

(2011) What if Bin Laden had stood trial? 3 May.

(2011) David Cameron’s crackdown on extremism is counterproductive. 8 February.

(2010) Sweden bomber’s Luton link must not reinforce cliché. 13 December.

2010) Prevent is dead. What next? 14 July. (

(2010) A hatred exposed. 1 June 2010.

(2010) Muslims in the UK: beyond the hype (with J Githens-Mazer). 28 January.

(2010) Re-shaping Prevent. 31 October

(2010) Quilliam on Prevent: the wrong diagnosis (with J. Githens-Mazer). 19 October./a>

(2009) Let’s be honest about Prevent (with J. Githens-Mazer). 9 December.

(2009) The demonisation of British Islamism (with J. Githens-Mazer). 1 April.accessed 17.1.10.

New Statesman: The Staggers blog

(2011) Counter-terrorism versus Counter-subversion. 2 August.

(2011) Cameron and Blair: the real counter-terrorism coalition. 6 June.

(2011) Educating the English Defence League. 5 February.

(2010) Tackling Islamophobia. 5 December.

Huffington Post

(2011) Muslims Tackle Looters and Bigots 14 August.

(2011) Londoners United Against the EDL. 30 July.

(2011) Terrorists are Sane. 26 July.

Al Jazeera Online

(2011) Muslims Tackle Looters and Bigots. 12 August.

(2011) Nationalists pose bigger threat than al-Qaeda. 24 July.

<a href=“http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/201171183550718371.html” target=“_blank”(2011) Murdoch’s dirty tricks against Palestinians. 11 July.

(2011) Fighting ‘hate speech’ smears on Sheikh Salah. 1 July.

2009. UK counter terrorism aids far-right. 29 October.

Middle East Monitor (MEMO)

(2011) An engagement ring, a pendant and the seeds of two dates. 28 April.

(2010) Mohammed Sawalha: a maligned and vindicated British-Palestinian citizen. 25 November.

(2010) Sentencing of protesters against war in Gaza: community concerns should not be ignored (with J. Githens-Mazer). 18 February.

The Platform

(2011) 7/7: What a Public Inquiry Would Have Addressed. 17 May.

(2010) Education and Understanding: The Tools for Tomorrow. 18 February.

Media interviews and comment

Lambert is a regular contributor to news and current affairs programmes on Al Jazeera TV, Islam Channel TV and in Guardian, Independent and other newspapers and journals.