Dr William Allchorn



I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Politics at the University of Nottingham in 2011. My studies here where mainly focused around British party politics. This led me to complete a Master’s degree in Parliamentary Politics at Leeds, eventually writing my MA thesis on MP’s responses to the BNP in their constituencies.

Prior to starting my PhD, I gained practical experience in front-line politics as a parliamentary intern for Stephen Williams MP (a former junior minister). I also gained non-academic research experience as an intern at UCL’s Constitution Unit, the UK’s leading research body on constitutional change. 

PhD Research Project

Little academic attention has been directed at examining mainstream political responses to the rise of the English Defence League (EDL). Though the rise in studies focused on the causes and characteristics of the EDL have been substantial, there has been little in the way of sustained empirical attention evaluating how elites have responded to what was once considered Europe’s most prominent anti-Islamic campaign group (Goodwin et al 2014: 2).

My PhD thesis, therefore, investigates how mainstream actors have responded to the rise of the English Defence League over the past five years. Drawing on forty semi-structured elite interviews, it examines, compares and evaluates the different approaches of UK local politicians in Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester, Luton and Tower Hamlets.

Moreover, it engages with contemporary issues in key policy fields, such as public order, social cohesion and counter-extremism. My thesis argues that only through politicians’ engaging with the politically disaffected and constructing meaningful forms of interaction between previously isolated communities can we counteract the populist and prejudicial barbs of the EDL and other far right groups across Europe.


My research has been awarded the Leeds POLIS Research Scholarship.


Allchorn, William (Forthcoming, 2019) Anti-Islamic Protest in the UK: Policy Responses to the Far Right. London: Routledge.

Allchorn, William (2018) 'Cumulative Extremism and the Online Space - Reciprocal Radicalisation Effects between the Extreme Right and Radical Islamists in the UK.' In: Lee, B. and Littler, M. (eds.) The New Extremism: Readings in Violence, Radicalisation and Extremism in the Digital Space. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Allchorn, William (May 2017) ‘Book Review: Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties in Western Europe: Into the Mainstream? by Tjitske Akkerman, Sarah L. de Lange and Matthijs Rooduijn.’ Political Studies Review. 15 (2): 316-317.

Allchorn, William (April 2017) ‘Book Review: Loud and Proud: Passion and Politics in the English Defence League.’ Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism. 17(1): 136-138.

Allchorn, William (September 2016) ‘Book Review: The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest by Joel Busher.’ Social Movement Studies. Access at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14742837.2016.1184137

Allchorn, William. (June 2016) ‘Public Order Management in Bradford ‘post-riots’: The case of the English Defence League.’ Journal of Political Criminology. Volume 1, Number 2.

Allchorn, William (Winter 2013) 'From national "clean hands" to a local "engagement" approach? UK Members of Parliament experiences in countering the British National Party in their constituencies.' Journal of Politics and International Studies Vol. 8 (Winter 2012/13). Access at: http://www.polis.leeds.ac.uk/assets/files/students/student-journal/ug-winter-12/130213-win12-william-allchorn-2.pdf


Associate Director, Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right

Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy 

Member, ECPR Standing Committee on Extremism and Democracy

Research interests

My primary research interests are in Anti-Islam Protest Movements and Policy Responses to them. My secondary research interests include the drivers of Radical Right Parties and Social Movements. In addition, I also like to focus on popular forms of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the Political, Social and Criminal Consequences of Radical Right Wing Extremism.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Politics and International Studies (Leeds)
  • MA in Parliamentary Politics (Leeds)
  • BA Politics (Nottingham)

Student education

In previous sessions (2015-2017), I have convened PIED 1000 Studying and Researching in POLIS. Moreover, I have also taught and lectured on PIED 1100 British Politics, PIED 2721 Approaches to Analysis and PIED 3302 Extreme Right Parties in Europe.