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Biography

Peter Neumann is Professor of Security Studies at the Department of War Studies, and founded the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), which he directed between 2008 and 2018.

In 2017, he also served as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Special Representatives on Countering Violent Extremism.

Neumann has authored or co-authored seven books, most recently Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2020). Previous books include Radicalized: New Jihadists and the Threat to the West (IB Tauris, 2016), Old and New Terrorism (Polity Press, 2009), The Strategy of Terrorism (with MLR Smith) (Routledge, 2008), and Britain’s Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969-98 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

He is currently working on a research monograph on the ideas and ideologues of the contemporary Far Right.

Neumann has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles, dealing with different aspects of terrorism and radicalisation, especially ‘homegrown’ radicalisation in Western countries, and serves on the editorial boards of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, The Journal of Strategic Studies, and Democracy and Security. Shorter articles and opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Der Spiegel, The London Review of Books, and the New Scientist.

He established the MA in Terrorism, Security, and Society at the War Studies Department, and served as its Co-Director from 2008 to 2016. He has taught courses on terrorism, counterterrorism, intelligence, radicalisation and counter-radicalisation at King's College London, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and Sciences Po (Lyon).

Neumann holds an MA in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin, and a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London. Before becoming an academic, he worked as a radio journalist in Germany.

 

Areas of Interest

His areas of interests cover:

  • Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Insurgency and Counterinsurgency
  • Intelligence

 

Publications

For a list of most recent publications please visit the Research Portal.

Op-eds (selected)

  • ‘Corona and Bioterrorism: How Serious Is the Threat?’, War on The Rocks, 22 June 2020. Available here.
  • ‘Donald Trump’s Failed War on Terror’, Politico, 27 October 2019. Available here.
  • ‘La violencia y sus causas’, El Pais, 26 October 2015 (with Vaira Vike-Freiberga). Available here (Spanish original) and here (English translation).
  • ‘ISIS Is Killing Muslims, Not Protecting Them’, CNN, 22 September 2015. Available here.
  • ‘How to curb the threat of homecoming jihadist fighters’, New Scientist, 2 July 2014. Available here.
  • ‘Suspects into Collaborators’, London Review of Books, 3 April 2014. Available here.
  • ‘Al Qaeda’s Most Dangerous Franchise’, Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2012 (with Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens). Available here.
  • ‘A Call Against Online Extremism’, Politico, 2 December 2012 (with Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton). Available here.
  • ‘Does Iran Want Another Lebanon?’, New York Times, 8 September 2004 (with Joshua Kilberg). Available here.
  • ‘Syrien: Die perverse Logik der Nicht-Intervention’, Cicero, 10 Janaury 2013. Available here.
  • ‘Wider Lessons from the IRA: Helping Terrorists Evolve’, International Herald Tribune, 3 August 2005.
  • ’Can Terrorists Be Tamed?’, International Herald Tribune, 10 January 2007. Available here.
  • ‘A Crisis of Identity and the Appeal of Jihad’, International Herald Tribune, 5 July 2007. Available here.
  • ‘Table Tennis for the Taliban’, Der Spiegel, 28 January 2010. Available here in English; and here in German.

 

Monographs and Edited Volumes

  • Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror (London and New York: Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • Der Terror ist unter uns: Dschihadismus und Radikalisierung in Europa (Berlin: Ullstein, 2016)
  • Radicalized: New Jihadists and the Threat against the West (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016)
  • Die neuen Dschihadisten: ISIS, Europa und die nächste Welle des Terrorismus (Berlin: Econ, 2015)
  • Radicalization: Major Works Collection (Routledge, 2015) (Ed.)
  • Old and New Terrorism (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009).
  • ‘Joining Al Qaeda: Jihadist Recruitment in Europe’, Adelphi Paper 399, International Institute for Strategic Studies, January 2009.
  • The Strategy of Terrorism (London: Routledge, 2008) (with M.L.R. Smith)
  • Britain’s Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969-98 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
  • Al Gore: Eine Biographie (Hamburg: DVA, 2000)
  • IRA: Langer Weg zum Frieden (Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1999)

 

Journal Articles and Book Chapters (selected)

  • ‘Old and New Terrorism’ in Diego Muro and Tim Wilson (eds.), Contemporary Terrorism Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • ‘Les jihadistes européennes et le nexus criminalité-terrorisme’ in Bernard Rougier (ed.), Les territoires conquis de l’islamisme (Paris: PUF, 2020), pp. 333-50 (with Rajan Basra).
  • ‘Don’t Follow the Money: The Problem with the War on Terrorist Financing’, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2017. Available here.
  • ‘Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus‘, Perspectives on Terrorism, 10(6) (2016) (with Rajan Basra).
  • ‘Operation Crevice’ in Fernando Reinares and Bruce Hoffman (eds.), Leader-led Jihad (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014) (with Ryan Evans).
  • ‘How Rigorous is Radicalization Research?’, Democracy and Security, 9(4) (2013), pp. 360-82.
  • ‘The Trouble with Radicalisation’, International Affairs, 89(4) (2013), S. 873-93.
  • ‘Options and Strategies for Countering Online Radicalization in the United States’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 36(6) (2013), S. 431-59.
  • ‘Locating Al Qaeda’s Center of Gravity: The Role of Middle Managers’ (with Ryan Evans and Raffaello Pantucci), Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 34(9) (11) (2011), pp. 825-42.
  • ‘Negotiating with Terrorists’, Foreign Affairs, 86(1) (2007), pp. 128-38.
  • ‘Europe’s Jihadist Challenge’, Survival, 48(2) (2006), pp. 71-84.
  • ‘The Bullet and the Ballot Box: The Case of the IRA’, Journal of Strategic Studies, 28(6) (2005), pp. 1-35.
  • ‘The Strategy of Terrorism: The Framework and Its Fallacies’ (with M.L.R. Smith), Journal of Strategic Studies, 28(4) (2005), pp. 571-95.
  • ‘Missing the Plot? Intelligence and Discourse Failure’ (with M.L.R. Smith), Orbis, 49(1) (2005), pp. 95-107.
  • ‘Motorman’s Long Journey: Changing the Strategic Setting in Northern Ireland’ (with M.L.R. Smith), Contemporary British History, 19(4) (2005), S. 413-35.
  • ‘The Myth of Ulsterization in British Security Policy in Northern Ireland’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 26(5) (2003), S. 365-77.
  • ‘The Imperfect Peace: Explaining Paramilitary Violence in Northern Ireland’, Low-Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement, 11(1) (2002), S. 116-38.

 

Policy Reports

  • ‘Prisons and Terrorism: Extremist Offender Management in 10 European Countries’ (London: ICSR: 2020) (with Rajan Basra).
  • ‘Countering Extremism and Radicalisation that Lead to Terrorism: Ideas, Recommendations and Good Practices from the OSCE Region’, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), 29 September 2017; available here.
  • ‘Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic State’s Financial Fortunes’ (London: ICSR, 2017) (with Rajan Basra, John Holland McCowan, and Stefan Heißner); available here.
  • ‘Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus’ (London: ICSR, 2016) (with Rajan Basra and Claudia Brunner); available here.
  • ‘Victims, Perpetrators, Assets: The Narratives of Islamic State Defectors’ (London: ICSR, 2015); available here.
  • ‘#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks’ (London: ICSR, 2014) (with Joseph Carter and Shiraz Maher), available here.
  • ‘Countering Online Radicalization in America’ (Washington DC: Bipartisan Policy Center, 2012); available here.
  • ‘Preventing Violent Radicalization in America’ (Washington DC: Bipartisan Policy Center, 2011); available here.
  • ‘Prisons and Terrorism: Radicalisation and De-radicalisation in 15 Countries’ (London: ICSR, 2010); available here.
  • ‘Countering Online Radicalisation: A Strategy for Action’ (London: ICSR, 2009) (with Tim Stevens); available here.
  • ‘Recruitment for the Islamist Militant Movement in Europe’ (Brussels: European Commission, 2008) (with Brooke Rogers).
  • ‘Securing the Peace: The Normalisation of Security Arrangements in Northern Ireland’ (Belfast: Independent Monitoring Commission, 2006) (with Ben Bowling and Cian Murphy).

 

Teaching

He is currently teaching the following courses:

  • BA: 6SSW3013 The War on Terror,
  • MA: 7SSWM053 Homegrown Radicalisation

 

PhD Supervision

He currently supervises research students within the areas of:

  • Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

 

Expertise & Public Engagement

Neumann has led research projects and authored or co-authored influential policy reports about the crime-terror nexus, online radicalization, foreign fighter networks, countering terrorist finance, terrorist defectors, and terrorist recruitment in Europe. The most recent example is “Prisons and Terrorism: Extremist Offender Management in 10 European Countries” (ICSR, 2020) (with Rajan Basra).

ICSR’s ground breaking research on foreign fighters – for which he served as principal investigator – has informed policy-makers across the world. In this respect, he has served as a senior consultant for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations during the process of crafting UN Security Council Resolution 2178 on “Foreign Terrorist Fighters”, and testified before a full ministerial session of the UN Security Council as well as several committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, the UK House of Commons, the German Bundestag, the Canadian House of Commons, and the European Parliament.

Neumann has served as an expert witness for the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service, Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service, and Scotland’s Crown Office. He also holds fellowships and advisory positions with the Hedayah Centre in Abu Dhabi, the Global Center on Cooperative Security in Washington, and the Club de Madrid, the association of former Presidents and Prime Ministers.