Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Terrorism and political violence
  • Countering violent extremisms
  • Emotions and violent extremism
  • Radicalisation to political violence

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Debra Smith

Debra’s research focuses on questions of violent political extremism, social conflict and social change. She has a particular interest in the role of emotion within violent extremism beliefs and action and in translating research for applied outcomes.

Debra has extensive experience working with policing, community and government stakeholders to improve knowledge of all kinds of violent extremism and to translate this research into frontline practitioner tools.

Debra co-leads the Applied Security Science Partnership (ASSP) that brings together policing and security practitioners with academics to collaboratively  build robust evidence on behavioural indicators of violent extremism. She provides frontline training for policing, education and community stakeholders on early intervention and diversion from violent extremism. Debra was part of the expert panel commissioned for the Independent review of effective case management and information sharing barriers relevant to violent extremism.

Qualifications

  • PhD, Monash University, Australia, 2015
  • BA (Hons), Monash University, Australia, 2007

Key publications

Year Citation
2015 Smith, D. A. (150820). Symbiotic Othering: Terrorism, emotion and morality (pp. 247-269).

doi: 10.4324/9781315772912

Year Citation
2016 Peucker, M., Grossman, M. G., Smith, D. S., & Dellal, H. D. (160601). Stocktake Research Project: A systematic literature and selected program review on social cohesion, community resilience and violent extremism 2011-2015. Melbourne: Community Resilience Unit, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Year Citation
2019 Harris-Hogan, S., Barrelle, K., & Smith, D. (191102). The role of schools and education in countering violent extremism (CVE): applying lessons from Western countries to Australian CVE policy. Oxford Review of Education, 45(6), (731-748).

doi: 10.1080/03054985.2019.1612343

2019 Smith, D., & Talbot, S. (190504). How to make enemies and influence people: a Social Influence Model of Violent Extremism (SIM-VE). Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 14(2), (99-114).

doi: 10.1080/18335330.2019.1575973

2018 Smith, D. (180603). So how do you feel about that? Talking with provos about emotion. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 41(6), (433-449).

doi: 10.1080/1057610X.2017.1323467

2009 Wright-Neville, D., & Smith, D. (090201). Political rage: terrorism and the politics of emotion. Global Change, Peace & Security, 21(1), (85-98).

doi: 10.1080/14781150802659390

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Countering Violent Extremism Flexible Learning Program (RFQ C9714)
From: Fund Scheme 3151
Other investigators: Dr Brandy Cochrane
For period: 2021-2022
Not disclosed
Known Entity Management Model (KEM) Validation Stage 1
From: Victoria Police
Other investigators: Dr Muhammad Iqbal
For period: 2021-2021
Not disclosed
Community Integration Support Program (CISP): Facilitating disengagement from violent extremism
From: Victoria Police
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij, Dr Muhammad Iqbal
For period: 2021-2022
Not disclosed
Resilience: Regenerative City Living Lab
From: Victorian Higher Education Strategic Investment Fund
Other investigators: Dr Jean Hopman, Dr Alison Baker, Dr Amy Quayle, Dr Daniel Ooi, Ms Karen Jackson, Dr Thinh Nguyen
For period: 2021-2022
$590,000

Victorian Fixated Threat Assessment Centre - Formal Evaluation
From: Victoria Police
Other investigators: Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2020-2020
Not disclosed

Iterative Review, Validation and Development of Radar CVE Case Management Tool
From: Victoria Police
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij, Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Mr Andrew Zammit
For period: 2019-2019
Not disclosed
Applied research into countering violent extremism (CVE) and counter-terrorism (CT) risk assessment tools
From: Dept of Justice (VIC)
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij, Dr Muhammad Iqbal
For period: 2019-2023
Not disclosed
Dissenting Citizenship? Understanding Individuals' Vulnerabilities to Right-Wing Extremism on the Local Level
From: Dept of Justice (VIC)
Other investigators: Dr Mario Peucker, Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2019-2020
Not disclosed
Dissenting citizenship? Discussing concerns about diversity, immigration and what it means to be Australian today
From: Dept of Justice (VIC), Melton Council, City of Greater Bendigo, Yarra City Council
Other investigators: Dr Mario Peucker, Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2019-2020
Not disclosed
Partnership with Deakin University in the Collaborative Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS)
From: Research Institute on Social Cohesion
Other investigators: Dr Alison Baker, Dr Mario Peucker, Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2019-2021
Not disclosed
Capacity Building Grant -  Participation in the Collaborative Centre of Excellence for Resilient Communities and Inclusive Societies (CERCIS) Think Tank
From: Dept of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij, Prof Christopher Sonn
For period: 2019-2023
Not disclosed
Australian Security Science Partnership (ASSP)
From: VU Internal Funding, Defence Science and Technology Group, Australia
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2019-2021
Not disclosed

Independent Review of Effective Case Management and Information Sharing Barriers Relevant to Violent Extremism
From: Dept of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)
For period: 2018-2019
Not disclosed
New Landscapes of Terrorism Conference and Workshops
From: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government (DFAT)
Other investigators: Dr Virginie Andre
For period: 2018-2018
Not disclosed
From Passive Observer to Active Participant: Identifying Transitions to Violent Extremism Activity
From: Dept of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2018-2019
$74,550

Radar Training.
From: Department of Education and Training, Victoria, Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, Attorney-General's Department
For period: 2016-2017
$11,942

Understanding the relationship between online and offline social influence in radicalisation leading to violent extremism.
From: Defence Science and Technology Group, Australia, Research start-up funds: VU Postdoctoral Fellows, VU Industry Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Other investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2015-2018
$566,575

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
3 PhD Integrated Associate supervisor
1 PhD Associate supervisor
3 PhD Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD Integrated (3) Associate supervisor
PhD (1) Associate supervisor
PhD (3) Principal supervisor

Careers

Details of this Researcher's career are currently unavailable.