Research Agendas for the Study of Terrorism Workshop

The Orfalea Center is bringing together leading scholars of terrorism to focus on research agendas for deepening our collective understanding of terrorism, counterterrorism, media presentations and public perceptions of the problem of terrorism and responses to it.

Each presentation will explore the future of research in an area of terrorism research:
Hiring and Firing: An Examination of the Role of Recruiters in Non-state Terror Networks, Terrorist Organizations: What we know, what we don’t know and what is changing, Researching Religious Terrorism,The Crime-Terror Nexus, The relationship between terrorism, and civil war, State Terrorism, Does Counter-Terrorism Work? What We Know and What We Need to Know, Understanding State Responses to Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism Programs in Europe: Paternalism and the Logics of Suspicion, Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism, Counter-terrorism via blacklisting, exclusion and proscription, Coproducing security: Reporting worries of terrorist related activity and radicalization among public stakeholders and the general public, Fear Sells: The Media and Terrorism, and Terrorism, the Public and the Media: the Effects.

Each presentation will map out unanswered or ignored research questions, research controversies /or needed new areas of research and map out the potential directions and paths of travel to addressing the needed research.


John Horgan

Distinguished University Professor at the Global Studies Institute and Department of Psychology, at Georgia State University

John Horgan is Distinguished University Professor at the Global Studies Institute and Department of Psychology, at Georgia State University.  He has a BA and PhD in applied psychology, and his research focuses on terrorism and political violence – specifically on understanding psychological qualities of pathways into, through, and out of terrorism. John has previously held positions at the University of Massachusetts, Penn State University, the University of St. Andrews, UK, and University College, Cork, Ireland. His books include The Psychology of Terrorism  (second edition published June 2014), Divided We Stand: The Strategy and Psychology of Ireland’s Dissident Terrorists, Walking Away from Terrorism: Accounts of Disengagement from Radical and Extremist MovementsLeaving Terrorism Behind: Individual and Collective DisengagementTerrorism Studies: A Reader, and The Future of Terrorism. He is Editor of the premier terrorism studies journal Terrorism and Political Violence, and serves on the Boards of such journals as Politics and the Life SciencesLegal and Criminological PsychologyStudies in Conflict and TerrorismJournal for Deradicalization and Journal of Strategic Security. His research has been featured in such venues as The New York Times, VICE News, New York Magazine, TIME, CNN, NBC, Rolling Stone, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Victor Asal

Professor of Political Science University at Albany, State University of New York

Victor Asal currently serves as Chair of the Department of Public Administration and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at SUNY Albany. He received his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also, along with R. Karl Rethemeyer, the co-director of the Project on Violent Conflict.  Dr. Asal is affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Dr. Asal’s research focuses on the choice of violence by non-state organizational actors, as well as the causes of political discrimination by states against different groups such as sexual minorities, women and ethnic groups. In addition, Prof. Asal has done research on the impact of nuclear proliferation and on the pedagogy of simulations.  Asal has been involved in research projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, The Department of Homeland Security, The National Science Foundation, and The Office of Naval Research.   

Mark Juergensmeyer

Professor of Global Studies, Professor of Sociology, and Affiliate Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Mark Juergensmeyer is professor of global studies, professor of sociology, and affiliate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the founding director of the Global and International Studies Program and the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies. He is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics, and has published more than two hundred articles and twenty books, including the co-authored God in the Tumult of the Global Square: Religion in Global Civil Society (University of California Press, 2015; co-authored with Dinah Griego and John Soboslai). His widely-read Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (University of California Press, fourth edition forthcoming in 2017), is based on interviews with religious activists around the world–including Jihadi activists, ISIS supporters, leaders of Hamas, and abortion clinic bombers in the United States; an earlier edition was listed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. The first edition of a companion volume, Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State (University of California Press 2008) was named by the New York Times as one of the notable books of the year. His book on Gandhian conflict resolution has been reprinted as Gandhi’s Way (University of California Press, Updated Edition, 2005), and was selected as Community Book of the Year at the University of California, Davis. He is co-editing with Saskia Sassen and Manfred Steger The Oxford Handbook of Global Studies (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2017; Victor Faessel, Managing Editor), and has edited Thinking Globally: A Global Studies Reader (University of California Press, 2015), the Oxford Handbook of Global Religion (Oxford University Press 2006) and Religion in Global Civil Society (Oxford University Press 2005), and has co-edited The Encyclopedia of Global Religions (co-edited with WC Roof; Sage Publications 2008) and The Encyclopedia of Global Studies (co-edited with Helmunt Anheier; Sage Publications 2009). 

Daniela Pisoiu

Senior Researcher, Austrian Institute for International Affairs – oiip

Dr. Daniela Pisoiu is senior researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs – oiip. Her fields of research are: terrorism, radicalization, extremism, comparative regional security, American and European foreign and security policy. She completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence and has conducted fieldwork on the topic of radicalization in Austria, Germany and France, as well as other European countries. She is the author of Islamist Radicalization in Europe: An Occupational Change Process (2011/2012), and editor of Arguing Counterterrorism: New Perspectives (2014), both with Routledge.

Martha Crenshaw

Senior Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies,  Professor of Political Science by courtesy, Stanford University

Martha Crenshaw is a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and professor of political science by courtesy at Stanford University. She taught at Wesleyan University from 1974 to 2007.  In 2005-2006 she was a Guggenheim Fellow. From 2005 to 2018 she was a lead investigator with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. In 2009 the National Science Foundation/Department of Defense Minerva Initiative awarded her a grant for a project on “mapping terrorist organizations” (see  In 2015 she was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.  She is the recipient of the International Studies Association International Security Studies Section Distinguished Scholar Award for 2016. Ghent University also awarded her the degree of Doctor honoris causa in 2016.  Her recent work includes Countering Terrorism (Brookings Institution Press, 2017), co-authored with Gary LaFree, “Transnational Jihadism & Civil Wars,” Daedalus, 146, 4 (Fall 2017) and “Constructing the Field of Terrorism,” in The Oxford Handbook on Terrorism, ed. Erica Chenoweth, Andreas Gofas, Richard English, and Stathis Kalyvas (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019). 

Ruth Blakeley

Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Professor Blakeley’s research focuses on a range of issues across the areas of international security, terrorism and political violence, and the global governance of human rights. Her interests include US power, imperialism, US and UK foreign policy, state violence and terrorism, and torture. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the evolution of the international political economy and state violence. These interests lead her to frequently engage with questions on the potential of human rights norms and laws as vehicles for political and social change. In recent years, she has co-directed (with Dr. Sam Raphael, University of Westminster), The Rendition Project, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, providing the most comprehensive analysis to date of the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation programme. Ruth has published in leading journals, and is author of State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South (London: Routledge, 2009). She is the Lead Editor of the Review of International Studies, a journal of the British International Studies Association (BISA), published by Cambridge University Press.

Richard English

Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast

Richard English is Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, where he is also Distinguished Professorial Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Professor English’s research focuses on the politics and history of nationalism, political violence, and terrorism, with a particular focus on Ireland and Britain.  His books include Does Terrorism Work? A History (OUP, 2016), Modern War: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2013), Terrorism: How to Respond (OUP, 2009), Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (Pan Macmillan, 2006), Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (Pan Macmillan, 2003), Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual (OUP, 1998), and Radicals and the Republic: Socialist Republicanism in the Irish Free State 1925-1937 (OUP, 1994). He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of Keble College Oxford, and an Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews.  

Scott Englund

Lecturer, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Dr. Scott Englund is a lecturer at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo,
and in April of 2019 will join the faculty at the National Intelligence University. He is also
a Visiting Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the
University of California, Santa Barbara and a Non-Resident Fellow at TRENDS Research
and Advisory, Abu Dhabi. His primary research interests are political violence, U.S.
Counter-terror policy, international humanitarian law, and political communication focused
on security issues. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Englund was a political and counter-
terrorism analyst for the Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Charlotte Heath-Kelly

Associate Professor in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Dr. Heath-Kelly’s research focuses on the memorialization of terrorism, as well as the global expansion of pre-emptive counter-radicalisation policies. She has recently completed a Wellcome Trust funded study of how counter-radicalisation surveillance is practiced within the UK healthcare system. She is the author of two monographs: Death and Security: Memory and Mortality at the Bombsite (Manchester University Press, 2016) and Politics of Violence: Militancy, International Politics, Killing in the Name (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013). Numerous research articles have also appeared in Critical Studies on Terrorism, Security Dialogue, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Political Geography, International Political Sociology and the British Journal of International Studies among others.

Richard Jackson

Director National Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand

Richard Jackson is the founding editor and current editor-in-chief of the journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism. He is the author and editor of 10 books and more than 60 journal articles and book chapters. His books include: The Routledge Handbook of Critical Terrorism Studies (Routledge, 2016); Confessions of a Terrorist (Zed, 2014); Contemporary Debates on Terrorism (Routledge, 2012; co-edited with Samuel Justin Sinclair); Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011; co-authored with Marie Breen Smyth, Jeroen Gunning and Lee Jarvis); Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Cases(Routledge, 2010; co-edited with Eamon Murphy and Scott Poynting); Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods and Approaches (Ann Arbor MI: Michigan University Press, 2009; co-authored with Jacob Bercovitch); Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009; co-edited with Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning); and Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counterterrorism (Manchester University Press, 2005).

Lee Jarvis

Professor of International Politics, University of East Anglia

Lee Jarvis is a Professor of International Politics at the University of East Anglia. He is (co-) author or editor of over fifty articles or chapters, and eleven books on the politics of terrorism, counter-terrorism and security. These include Times of Terror: Discourse, Temporality and the War on TerrorCritical Perspectives on Counter-terrorism (with Michael Lister), Anti-Terrorism, Citizenship and Security (with Michael Lister), and Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (with Richard Jackson, Jeroen Gunning and Marie Breen Smyth). The latter was awarded a 2012 Choice Outstanding Academic Title award. Lee’s research has been funded by the ESRC, AHRC, NATO and the US Office of Naval Research, and he currently co-edits the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism.

Lasse Lindekilde

Associate professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Lasse Lindekilde is associate professor at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute. His research is focused on violent radicalization and the implementation and effects of counter-terrorism policies and communication. His work is interdisciplinary linking insights from political science, political sociology, criminology and social psychology. Methodologically he has published work building on both field work, survey research and experimental techniques. His research is funded by amongst others the European Commission, the MINERVA-programme and the Danish Research Council. He is currently undertaking research looking at the importance of self-uncertainty and dark personality traits in violent radicalization as well the efficiency of pre-event communication campaigns aimed at interdiction and mitigation of violent extremism.

David Parker

EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Political Science, Aarhus University

David is an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Aarhus University, in the department of Political Science. His research focuses upon anti-radicalisation communication strategies in Denmark and the UK, assessing how communication can be improved and how those individuals vulnerable to radicalisation can be more effectively reached. Prior to this he worked in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where his research focused on preventing, interdicting and mitigating lone-actor terrorism, as part of the EU-funded PRIME project. During his time at King’s College London, David lectured on several modules, including ‘Political Violence, Counterterrorism and Human Rights’ and ‘Russia in the 21st Century: Foreign Police, Identity and Security’. He sits on the Editorial Board of the International Centre for Counter Terrorism – The Hague and is an Academic Advisor to the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network. In addition to his research David is an experienced counter-terrorism practitioner, with eight years of experience supporting the strategic local implementation of the UK government’s Prevent Strategy (counter-radicalisation) in West London.

John Mueller

Woody Hayes Senior Research Scientist at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University; Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

Among his books are Chasing Ghosts: The Policing of Terrorism; Are We Safe Enough? Measuring and Assessing Aviation Security; and Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security (all with Mark G. Stewart). Other books include Terrorism Since 9/11: The American Cases; War, Presidents, and Public OpinionRetreat From Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major WarPolicy and Opinion in the Gulf WarAstaire DancingQuiet Cataclysm: Reflections on the Recent Transformation of World PoliticsCapitalism, Democracy, and Ralph’s Pretty Good GroceryThe Remnants of War (awarded the Joseph Lepgold Prize for the best book on international relations in 2004); Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe ThemAtomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda; and War and Ideas: Selected Essays. He has also published hundreds of articles and opinion pieces. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and has received the International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Award as well as several teaching awards.

Benjamin Smith

Research Director at the Institute for Methods Innovation; Visiting Scholar, Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Smith’s research interests lie within the domains of public opinion, informal learning and news media, with a focus on how issues, events and actors are framed in news media, and the effects of these frames on the formation, updating and expression of beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. In addressing these questions, he employs a multi-disciplinary approach, bridging theories and research paradigms from mass and political communication, political science, cognitive and social psychology, and media sociology. He also employs a variety of analytical approaches, choosing the method that best answers the question at hand, whether that be computational text analysis, inductive framing analysis or multi-level structural equation mixture modeling.

Within the confines of terrorism studies, Dr. Smith studies the typology of frames used by media organizations when discussing terrorist actors and the effects of these frames on public attitudes and beliefs about terrorist organizations and the threat of terrorism. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018. He holds an M.S. in Communication from Portland State University, and a B.S. in Communication, with Concentration in Public Relations, from Southern Utah University.

Michael Stohl

Professor of Communication, Political Science and Global Studies, Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB

Dr. Stohl’s research focuses on organizational and political communication with special reference to terrorism, human rights and global relations. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 20 books and more than 100 scholarly journal articles and book chapters.  Dr. Stohl has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the International Communication Association Applied/Public Policy Research Award for career work on State Terrorism and Human Rights in 2011 and the International Communication Association 2008 Outstanding Article Award for Stohl, C. and Stohl, M. 2007, “Networks of Terror: Theoretical Assumptions and Pragmatic Consequences” Communication Theory 47,2: 93-124

Page Editor

Graduate Student Researcher at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies
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