Board of Advisors


 Orsini Alessandro Orsini, Ph. D., is the Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” where he teaches Political Sociology; Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was Visiting Scholar at both the Department of Political Science and the Center for International Studies; Adjunct Professor of Political Sociology at LUISS University of Rome; Professor at the School that trains high officials at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal “Studies in Conflict and Terrorism”; Member Participant of the Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN) set up by the European Commission as an EU-wide umbrella network of practitioners and local actors involved in countering violent radicalization. He is the author of “Anatomy of the Red Brigades. The Religious Mindset of Modern Terrorists” (Cornell University Press), a 2011 “Foreign Affairs” Best Book of the Year. “Anatomy of the Red Brigades”, the winner of the 2010 Acqui Award of History, has been called: “A book of high scholarly distinction” (Journal of Cold War Studies); “A remarkable book” (Foreign Affairs); “An enormous scholarly contribution” (Perspectives on Politics); “A relevant book that can be compared with Christopher Browning’s monograph on nazism” (Mobilization); “A book that successfully fills a gap in the scholarship” (Terrorism and Political Violence). Orsini gave lectures on terrorism at Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Boston College, Brookings Institution, Trinity College, among others. His intellectual background is multi-disciplinary and he has extensive interests in history as well as in sociology. The author of seven books in Italian, he has written books on the origins of capitalism; the relationship between history and sociology; the origins of nationalism; the revolutionary mind-set.
 ABRAHMS Dr. Max Abrahms is a professor of public policy in the department of political science at Northeastern University and a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. He researches and teaches on the subject of terrorism. Abrahms is also a frequent terrorism analyst in the international media, especially on the consequences of terrorism, its motives, and the implications for counterterrorism strategy. Abrahms has held research fellowships at Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Tel Aviv University, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and at West Point Military Academy.
BERTI Benedetta Berti, Associate Fellow, Tel Aviv University, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). She is the author of books: Armed Political Organizations: from Conflict to Integration, Johns Hopkins University Press 2013; Hezbollah and Hamas: a Comparative Study, with Joshua Gleis, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012; The Battle for Beirut: the Role of Foreign Powers in Lebanon between Old Dynamics and New Trends, Institute for National Security Studies and Tel Aviv University 2011. Berti’s articles have appeared in “Studies in Conflict and Terrorism;” “ORBIS;” “Mediterranean Politics;” “MIT International Review.”
 Bloom Mia Mellissa Bloom is Professor of Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and the author of “Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror” (NY: Columbia University Press 2005) and “Living Together After Ethnic Killing” edited with Roy Licklider (London: Routledge 2007) and “Bombshell: Women and Terror” (U Penn Press 2011). She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and has held research or teaching appointments at Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, and McGill Universities. Bloom has a PhD in political science from Columbia University, a Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelors from McGill University in Russian and Middle East Studies and speaks nine languages. She regularly appears on CNN, Fox News, CSPAN, and NBC Nightly News. Bloom’s main interests are in ethnic conflict and the larger phenomenon of political violence as it relates both to terrorism and the deliberate of targeting of civilians during conflict. She is especially interested in cycles of violence that demonstrate the intersection between victimhood and mobilization into violence. Her research investigate the deliberate use of rape during war as well as how terrorist organizations use rape to transform ordinary women into suicide bombers by raping them. Under the honor code in most cultures, the women will be killed by a family member for bringing shame to the family. This insidious practice has been used in Chechnya and Iraq. She is also conducting research on the targeted recruitment of children into terrorist organizations and understanding how better to prevent this in the future. Her work bridges both academic and policy relevant research. She researches these topics and help international agencies formulate better practices to help women and children and any other groups at risk.Educational Background: Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Russian and Middle East Studies from McGill University
Boudon Raymond Boudon (1934-2013), among the most influential scholars in contemporary sociology, was a Professor Emeritus at the Paris-Sorbonne University. A biographical study of him was published in 2006 by Jean-Michel Morin, “Boudon. Un Sociologue Classique”, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2006. Raymond Boudon was among the first scholars to support the foundation of the Center for the Study of Terrorism at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, and join the Board of Advisors. On November 3, 2012, Boudon wrote: “Dear Alessandro Orsini, I am of course more than happy and honoured to be invited to join the Center for the Study of Terrorism that you are developing. You are scientifically perfectly equipped to animate a research structure devoted to this crucial topic.”
Bronner Gérald Bronner, Professor of Sociology, Université Paris Diderot and member of Institut Universitaire de France (junior). He is currently co-director of LIED (Laboratoire interdisciplinary des énergies de demain). He works on collective beliefs and social cognition, especially radical forms of credulity. His publications includes L’empire des croyances (Paris, Puf, 2003), winner of a social science prize from l’Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, L’empire de l’erreur – Eléments de sociologie cognitive (Paris, Puf, 2007), or La Pensée extrême – comment des hommes ordinaires deviennent des fanatiques (Paris, Denoël, 2009) winner of the 2010 Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Science (translation in italian: Il pensiero estremo – come si deventa fanatici, Bologna: il Mulino 2012). His latest book is The Future of Collective Beliefs, Oxford: Bardwell Press 2011.
Senza titolo-1 Simon Cottee is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Kent (UK). He has published widely in “Studies in Conflict and Terrorism” and “Terrorism and Political Violence.” He is the co-editor, with Thomas Cushman, of Terror, Iraq and the Left: Christopher Hitchens and his Critics, with an Afterword by Christopher Hitchens. New York: New York University Press 2008. He has just completed an Economic and Social Research Council-funded study of Islamic apostasy. His current work is focused on counter-terrorism in Saudi Arabia. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal “Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.”
HORGAN Professor John Horgan is at the School of Criminology and Justice Studies of the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he is also Director of the Center for Terrorism & Security Studies. An applied psychologist by training, his research focuses on terrorist behavior. He has over seventy publications on terrorism and political violence, and his books include The Psychology of Terrorism, Walking Away from Terrorism, Leaving Terrorism Behind, and Terrorism Studies: A Reader. His latest book Divided We Stand: The Strategy and Psychology of Ireland’s Dissident Terrorists was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. He is Special Editions Editor of Terrorism and Political Violence, Associate Editor of Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, and sits on the Editorial Boards of several further journals, including Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and Journal of Strategic Security. Professor Horgan is also a member of the Research Working Group of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. Professor Horgan has previously held positions at Penn State University (as Director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism), the University of St. Andrews, UK, and University College, Cork, Ireland. His research has been featured in such venues as The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone Magazine, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
KASSIMERIS George Kassimeris has been researching and writing on terrorism and political violence for 20 years and has successfully built a reputation as the leading expert on Greek terrorism and one of the best recognised European scholars working in the field.Kassimeris is the author of Europe’s Last Red Terrorists, the first book on Europe’s longest-running revolutionary terrorists, the notorious November 17th group. He is also the editor of Playing Politics with Terrorism: A User’s Guide which the Independent newspaper called ‘brilliant, mind-opening stuff’ in its Best Books for 2007. His latest research monograph published by Hurst in the UK and Oxford University Press in the US is entitled Inside Greek Terrorism and draws on interviews with imprisoned terrorists and former militants from defunct Greek terrorist groups to offer valuable insights into the complex processes of involvement in and disengagement from terrorism. Kassimeris’s research on terrorism has received funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Nuffield Foundation, the European Union and the Smith Richardson Foundation. He has lectured widely on terrorism and political violence, including invited lectures and keynote speeches in Britain, the United States, Canada, Spain and Greece. Kassimeris is editor of Critical Studies on Terrorism, a Taylor & Francis journal and also serves on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the leading academic journal in the field.
Laurence Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of Political Science at Boston College and nonresident senior fellow in Foreign Policy studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims: The State’s Role in Minority Integration (Princeton University Press 2012), which was the subject of a New York Times Op-Ed and praised by The Economist as “an original and thought-provoking study.” Foreign Affairs called it “the subtlest and most solidly researched analysis of European policies towards Islam.” Emancipation is the winner of the American Political Science Association’s Hubert Morken prize for Best Book in Religion and Politics and its 2013 Prize for Best Book in Migration or Citizenship. His first book, Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France (with Justin Vaisse), was published by Brookings Institution Press (2006) and, in French, by Odile Jacob in 2007. The New York Review of Books noted it as an “authoritative and optimistic reading of the successes and failures of cultural integration” in France. Both Integrating Islam and Emancipation were named one of Choice magazine’s “Outstanding Academic Titles” of the year (2007 and 2012). Prof. Laurence’s research has been featured in The Washington Post and on National Public Radio, and his articles have been published by European Political Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Crisis Group, Le Monde, The New York Times, Perspectives on Politics, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel and other US and European periodicals and think tanks. He is completing a new book comparing the evolution of state-Islam relations in Turkey, Morocco and Western Europe. He has been a Berlin prize fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, visiting professor at Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS) Guido Carli in Rome, senior fellow at the Transatlantic Academy, a Council on the US and Italy visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, a guest researcher at New York University, Sciences Po-Paris and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Laurence completed undergraduate work summa cum laude at Cornell (B.A., 1998) and received a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques at Sciences Po – Paris (1997). He defended his doctoral thesis in Harvard University’s Government Department (Ph.D., 2006), where he remains affiliated with the Center for European Studies. His thesis was awarded the American Political Science Association’s 2006 Harold D. Lasswell Prize for best Ph.D. dissertation on public policy in the previous two years.
Merari Ariel Merari, a leading scholar on terrorism, is a retired professor at the Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University. He received a B.A. degree in psychology and in economics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Merari served as Chair of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychology (1982-1985). During the period of 1978-1989 he was a Senior Fellow at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, where he established and directed the Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict Program. From 1989 until his retirement he was the Director of the Political Violence Research Unit at Tel Aviv University. Prof. Merari has been a visiting professor at Berkeley and Harvard, and a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School’s International Security Program of the Belfer Center. He has studied political terrorism and other forms of political violence for more than thirty years and has authored, co-authored or edited several books and many articles, monographs and chapters on these subjects. In addition to his academic work, he established Israel’s Hostage Negotiations and Crisis Management Unit and commanded it for more than 20 years. In recent years he has headed a large study of suicide terrorism.
Prof. Merari’s book, “Driven to Death: Psychological and Social Aspects of Suicide Terrorism” was recently published by Oxford University Press.
Neumann Dr. Peter Neumann is Professor of Security Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and serves as Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR,, which he founded in early 2008. Neumann has authored or co-authored five books, including “Old and New Terrorism”, published by Polity Press in 2009; and “The Strategy of Terrorism” (with MLR Smith), published by Routledge in 2008. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, dealing with different aspects of terrorism and radicalization, especially ‘homegrown’ radicalization in Western countries. Shorter articles and opinion pieces have appeared in, among others, the New York Times, Der Spiegel, Wall Street Journal and the International Herald Tribune (see below). In addition, he has led research projects and written influential policy reports about issues such as online radicalization, prison-based de-radicalization programs, and terrorist recruitment in Europe. The most recent – “Preventing Violent Radicalization in America” – was published in June 2011 by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington DC, where Neumann served as visiting scholar ( Neumann is a member of the editorial boards of two leading, peer-reviewed journals, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and Democracy and Security, and serves as investigator for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. He is an Affiliate of the European Commission’s European Network of Experts on Radicalisation, a member of the German Federal Criminal Office’s (BKA) European Expert Network on Terrorism Issues, and sits on the advisory boards of numerous other think-tanks and institutions, including the Club de Madrid, the association of former Presidents and Prime Ministers. He has given evidence before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the UK House of Commons, and served as an expert witness for the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service. At the Department of War Studies, Neumann co-directs the MA program in Terrorism, Security and Society, and supervises six research students. He has taught courses on terrorism, counterterrorism, intelligence, radicalization and counter-radicalization at King’s College London and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he continues to serve as adjunct professor. 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.
Pantucci Raffaello Pantucci, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), London.His articles have appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Democratization and African Security, as well as policy journals like Survival, Foreign Policy and The National Interest. He is also a regular book reviewer for International Affairs and Terrorism and Political Violence, and has written op-eds for publications like the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune and Financial Times among others. He is the author of a history of jihadism in the UK We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain’s Suburban Mujahedeen (Hurst/Columbia University Press) and is currently working on a manuscript looking at China’s relations with Central Asia.
Schmid Alex P. Schmid is Director of the Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI), an international network of scholars who seek to enhance human security through collaborative research. He was co-editor of Terrorism and Political Violence and is editor-in-chief of Perspectives on Terrorism. Dr. Schmid held a chair in International Relations at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) where he was, until 2009, also Director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV). From 1999 to 2005 he was Officer-in-Charge of the Terrorism Prevention Branch at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the rank of a Senior Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer. Currently, Alex Schmid serves on a number of boards, including Europol’s TE-SAT, the Genocide Prevention Advisory Network (GPAN), the Asia-Pacific Foundation and the Global Terrorism Database of START, a Center of Excellence of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the University of Maryland. Key Publications include: Violence as Communication (1982), Soviet Military Interventions since 1945 (1985), Terrorism and the Media (1992), Western Responses to Terrorism (1993), The Politics of Pain (1995), Countering Terrorism through International Cooperation (2001), Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power (2005), After the War on Terror (2009), Political Terrorism (1984, 1988, 2005). Dr. Schmid is editor and principal author of The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research, London & New York: Routledge, 2011 (718 pp.).
Vidino Lorenzo Vidino, Ph.D., is an academic and security expert who specializes in Islamism and political violence in Europe and North America. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich, he previously held positions at the RAND Corporation, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has taught at Tufts University, the University of Maryland (START), the National Defense University and the University of Zurich. He is the author of three books and frequent articles in several prominent newspapers (such as The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe…) and academic journals (such as Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, The Washington Quarterly, Terrorism and Political Violence…). He has testified before the U.S. Congress and consults with governments, law firms, think tanks and media in several countries. A native of Milan, Italy, he holds a law degree from the University of Milan Law School and a doctorate in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.