Carleton University doctoral student Fahad Ahmad is one of 15 recipients of a unique doctoral scholarship in the social sciences and humanities presented by The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Ahmad’s research examines how counter-radicalization policies impact organizations serving Muslim communities in Canada and the United Kingdom.

“I am honoured and thrilled to be awarded the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship for 2018. Being part of the foundation community brings me in contact with policy experts and academics whose insights will enrich my PhD dissertation project,” said Ahmad. “The public engagement emphasis of the foundation will help broaden the reach of my findings as I examine how security policies shape the work of civil society organizations.”

Community and nonprofit organizations that work with Muslim communities find themselves playing a focal role in delivering counter-radicalization programs on behalf of state institutions. Despite being implicated in counter-radicalization efforts, there is limited empirical and theoretical research exploring how these organizations are affected by being drawn into counter-radicalization efforts. This research comes at a time that the Canadian government is establishing a national counter-­radicalization strategy to provide federal leadership on tackling the issue of radicalization leading to violence.

“Congratulations to Fahad, who is the first student in the history of the Faculty of Public Affairs to be named a Trudeau Foundation Scholar,” said André Plourde, Dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs. “His research, which examines how counter-radicalization policies affect non-profit and community organizations, will provide important insights into this urgent issue. He is a great asset to our School of Public Policy and Administration.”

Ahmad also expressed graditude for the steadfast support of his supervisor, Professor Frances Abele, dissertation committee members Assistant Professor Jeffrey Monaghan and Professor Susan Phillips, as well as other faculty and staff in the School of Public Policy and Administration. In return, the School recognized his achievement.

“SPPA is incredibly proud of Fahad’s accomplishments,” said Graeme Auld, Director of the School. “His research exemplifies our collective vision for what research ought to accomplish. We are driven to understand pressing, contemporary issues to offer probing analysis and practical solutions that can inform government policy and the activities of community organizations that are trying to make a difference. I know Fahad will be a stellar Trudeau Scholar, and I am equally sure that the support this opportunity provides will amplify and strengthen his PhD work.”

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation honours exceptional students who have distinguished themselves through academic excellence and civic engagement. Focusing on important questions for Canada and the world, they are researching areas as diverse as literature, environmental sciences, urban planning, archeology, public health, communications, public health, education, political science and law. The cohort joins a multidisciplinary network of over 400 researchers, outstanding intellectuals, and seasoned decision-makers committed to applying their knowledge to pressing issues.

Since 2003, Ahmad is the second scholarship recipient nominated by Carleton and the first from School of Public Policy and Administration.

Ahmad has received the Social Science Humanities and Research Council’s Joseph-­Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Studies Doctoral Scholarship for his doctoral dissertation. Prior to starting his PhD, Ahmad was Interim CEO of Soliya, an innovative nonprofit that uses new technologies to mobilize young people from Muslim and western societies with the aim of fostering greater cross­cultural understanding. Ahmad continues to work as a nonprofit consultant and presently chairs the board of directors of Thousand Currents, an international organization that supports grassroots initiatives.

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Fahad also received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Studies Doctoral Scholarship award for 2017 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). For his proposed doctoral project, Fahad is studying how the work of community organizations that provide social and economic support to immigrant and diaspora Muslim communities mitigates radicalization. He will use a comparative case-study approach to study organizations working on Muslim community development in Canada and the UK in order to determine how counter-radicalization policies have shaped their program delivery. The in-depth case study will inform a quantitative analysis across OECD countries to ascertain the relationship between radicalization and the activities of organizations working with Muslim communities. Through his research, he hopes to make contributions in security studies, social policy, scholarship on migrant alienation, and community organizational management.

Learn more about SPPA’s PhD in Public Policy…

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