Pool Re Episode 11: Joe Whittaker - The incel subculture: An emerging threat?


Joe Whittaker is a senior lecturer in Criminology, Sociology, and Social Policy at Swansea University and is affiliated with the Cyber Threats Research Centre in Swansea. Joe’s doctoral research was a behavioural study of Islamic State actors in America 2012-2018, conducted jointly with Swansea University and Leiden University. Joe also researches the incel subculture, online counter-narratives, and how online recommendation systems interact with extremist content.

In this episode, we explore Joe’s recent research into the incel subculture for the Commission for Countering Extremism. Short for involuntary celibate, incels can broadly be defined as a group of people who are unable to find sexual partners, despite wanting them, and a small subsection of which believe violence to be justified.

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About Pool Re

Pool Re’s purpose is to enable the UK insurance market to offer terrorism cover to any commercial property that requires it. Central to this is the integration of Pool Re’s cover with the underlying property policy which ensures that there is no gap in the cover provided.

Pool Re was designed to insulate the taxpayer from potential financial losses arising from acts of terrorism. It has achieved this effectively, to date paying £635m in respect of 13 claims arising from certified terrorism events in the UK since our establishment. It has never called on the Government’s guarantee.

By providing foundational stability at a reinsurance level, Pool Re has created an environment for the commercial market to re-establish itself, following the market failure in 1992. This stability creates and sustains access, liquidity and confidence to generate the conditions for the private market to gradually write a growing portion of terrorism risk.

Helping UK businesses build resilience against terrorism risk is a priority for Pool Re who have developed SOLUTIONS an in-house centre of excellence created to support Members and policyholders better understand risk awareness, modelling, and management. They have also invested in a range of initiatives with Government security and intelligence agencies to provide tools such as an information sharing platform.


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