skip to content

Sociology Research


Dr Julian Hargreaves is Director of Research at the Woolf Institute, a charity based in Cambridge with strong ties to the University. It undertakes research, public engagement, teaching and policy work related to religion and wider society with a focus on Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities.

He is a Research Associate at St Edmund's College, an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge. He is also an academic adviser for the Department of Sociology's Black British Voices Project, a large-scale survey of attitudes among Black British communities. He is also the Principal Investigator for the Woolf Diversity Study, the largest known study of ethnic, national and religious diversity in the UK.

His research interests include ethnic and religious minorities, Muslim and Jewish communities in the UK, antisemitism, Islamophobia, counter extremism and counter terrorism, policing (including the use of stop and search), issues related to public health (including the impact of Covid-19 on faith communities and the challenges faced by Muslim people in the UK seeking mental health support), and broader social and political issues relating to prejudice, discrimination, diversity, and social cohesion and integration policy.

His work adopts a multidisciplinary, mixed methods approach to social research, with a focus on the more applied domains of sociology and social science. Preferred quantitative methods include large, nationally representative survey work and related statistical techniques. Preferred qualitative methods include focus groups and interviews with a particular emphasis on the use of constructivist grounded theory and the application of social contact theory. Recent work has also included a socio-legal study of the UK Government's definition of "extremism" and research on diversity in the UK that draws on aspects of social psychology. A decade or so in academia has taught him that enlightened research questions are far more interesting than heated debates on research methodologies.

Dr Hargreaves has worked in independent advisory roles for various branches of the UK Government on issues related to policing, counter extremism and counter terrorism, and community cohesion. He holds a PhD in Applied Social Science and an MRes (Distinction) in Criminology both from Lancaster University.

Research Interests

Ethnic and religious minority communities; Islamophobia and Antisemitism; counter-extremism and counter-terrorism; social research methods (including survey work, statistics and social media analysis); policy-related research.

Research Projects

Diversity Study of England and Wales 2020 (the UK's largest known study of diversity), Transmission and Trust (a study of Covid-19 within British Jewish and British Muslim communities) and Antisemitism Online (social media data analysis of antisemitism across Google, Instagram and Twitter platforms).


As part of his work at the Woolf Institute, Julian teaches on the MPhil in Middle Eastern and Asian Studies (Pathway A: Muslim-Jewish Relations).

Key Publications - Books

Anderson, P. and Hargreaves, J. (eds.) (2018). Muslims in the UK and Europe IV. Cambridge: Centre of Islamic Studies.

Hargreaves, J. (ed.) (2018). Beyond dialogue? Interfaith engagements in Delhi, Doha and London. Cambridge: Woolf Institute.

Hargreaves, J., Kessler, A. and Tiffany, A. (eds.) (2017). Trust in crisis: The emergence of the quiet citizen. Cambridge: Woolf Institute.

Anderson, P. and Hargreaves, J. (eds.) (2017). Muslims in the UK and Europe III. Cambridge: Centre of Islamic Studies.

Hargreaves, J. (ed.) (2016). Anti-Muslim hate crime: evidence-based research and practice within British Muslim communities. Cambridge: Centre of Islamic Studies

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Hargreaves, J. (2015). British Muslim Communities and 'Everyday' Hate Crime. In: Yasir Suleiman (ed.). Muslims in the UK and Europe I. Cambridge: Centre of Islamic Studies. Ch.10.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Elahi, M. and Hargreaves, J. (2020). Defining "Extremism": Lessons from Begg v BBC (in press).

Hargreaves, J. and Staetsky, L.D. (2019). Antisemitism and Islamophobia: Measuring Sensitivity in the UK. Ethnic and Racial Studies DOI:

Hargreaves, J. (2018). Towards a Cure for Prevent? Building Resilience to Religious and Political Forms of Violence within British Muslim Communities. Journal of Muslims in Europe, 7(2), pp. 190-210.

Hargreaves, J. (2018). Police Stop and Search Within British Muslim Communities: Evidence From the Crime Survey 2006-2011. British Journal of Criminology, 55(1), pp. 19-38.

Hargreaves, J. (2016). Risk and Resilience in British Muslim Communities. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(14), pp. 2601-2620.

Hargreaves, J. (ed.) (2016). Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: Evidence-based Research and Practice within British Muslim Communities. Cambridge: Centre of Islamic Studies.

Hargreaves, J. (2015). Half a Story? Missing Perspectives in the Criminological Accounts of British Muslim Communities, Crime and the Criminal Justice System. British Journal of Criminology, 55 (1): 19-38.

Key Publications - Other

Hargreaves, J. (2018), The Cambridge companion to religion and terrorism by James R. Lewis. Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, (in preparation)

Hargreaves, J. (2014), Hidden stories of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry by Richard Stone. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 14(4), pp.525-527.

Job Title:
Research Affiliate
Contact Information: