Join a new discussion group on mapping and tackling hate!

Dr Matteo Vergani

Hate, defined as an intense, sustained and stable contempt for, and strong dislike of, the target, is one of many antecedents of vastly different behaviours, including violence associated with terrorism and massacres, as well as criminalised violence against people and properties, including killings, aggressions, vandalism, and property destruction. Hate also frequently accompanies licit behaviours such as speech that implicitly or explicitly stigmatises, demonizes or scape-goats out-groups and depicts them as being subhuman and undesirable, inferior, or deviant and a legitimate object of hostility. There is a significant body of existing research on these vastly different behaviours but it has so far developed independently and largely within separate disciplinary boundaries. This fragmentation of the literature has generated significant theoretical richness, but it has made us blind to the relationships among different expressions of hate including institutional and non-institutional political violence, hate crime, hate speech, micro-aggressions, social discrimination, structural violence, racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism, and misogyny – among others.

Aims of the group

The group aims to develop a baseline critical and analytical understanding of the key contemporary challenges related to tackling hate. Ultimately, the group aims to build a shared culture about how to best understand and address hate and political extremism fuelled by hate with a whole of society approach. This involves consultation and knowledge co-production with social justice networks, civil society organisations, government agencies, and scholars, alongside members of non-dominant social groups. The group aims to create a free and respectful environment where everyone feels encouraged to participate and express their ideas.


The group will meet on a monthly basis – on the third Wednesday of the month, at lunch time – to discuss key issues related to mapping and tackling hate. When possible, the meetings will be in-person at Deakin Burwood or at Deakin Downtown, but we expect that online participation will be available on most occasions. Each meeting will have a chosen topic and a presenter. One week before the meeting, the organisers will circulate via email some reading materials that attendees might want to read. The presenter will introduce the discussion topic in about 5 minutes, highlighting in simple terms:

  • the topic / issue / conundrum
  • the different positions on the topic
  • available evidence and knowledge gaps

The presenter will then pose one key question to the attendees. To make sure that contributions are synthetic and discussion flows, all the meetings will have a moderator.


To propose a new topic for future meetings, and to subscribe to the discussion group mailing list, please email Matteo: [email protected]

Organising committee

The topics will be selected by the organising committee, which is composed by: Dr Matteo Vergani, Dr Imogen Richards, Prof Greg Barton, Ms Haily Tran.

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