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Prof. Peter Neumann

Prof. Peter Neumann

Senior Fellow

Peter Neumann is Professor of Security Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and has founded the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR, in early 2008. In 2017 he also served as the OSCE Chairman’s Special Representative on Countering Violent Radicalisation, and recently published a report on his findings.

Books and Writing

Neumann’s latest book in English is Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror which was published by Hurst in September 2019. His most recent book in German is Der Terror ist unter uns: Dschihadismus und Radikalisierung in Europa (Ullstein, 2016), a comprehensive introduction to extremist radicalization and recruitment, which discusses new trends and developments incl. the internet, ‘lone wolves’, the rise of women, and the merging of terrorist and criminal milieus.

Prior to this, Neumann has authored or co-authored five other books, including Old and New Terrorism (Polity Press, 2009); and The Strategy of Terrorism (with MLR Smith) (Routledge, 2008).

He has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles dealing with different aspects of terrorism and radicalization, and edited Routledge’s recently published four-volume Major Works Collection: Radicalization (Routledge, 2015). Shorter pieces have appeared in the New York Times, New Scientist, London Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, and other periodicals.

Policy Reports

Neumann has led research projects and written influential policy reports about the crime-terror nexus, online radicalization, foreign fighter networks, terrorist defectors, prison-based de-radicalization programs, and terrorist recruitment in Europe. ICSR’s ground breaking research on foreign fighters – for which he serves as principal investigator – has informed policy-makers and public opinion in Europe and North America, and has been cited in numerous publications, such as the New York Times Magazine. Results have featured in “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks” (ICSR, 2014; with Joseph Carter and Shiraz Maher).

One of his most recent reports is “Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus” (ICSR, 2016; with Rajan Basra and Claudia Brunner), which details the merging of criminal and jihadist milieus in Europe. Earlier reports include, among others, “Countering Online Radicalization in America” (Bipartisan Policy Center, 2012), and “Preventing Violent Radicalization in America” (Bipartisan Policy Center, 2011), which were both endorsed by the Co-Chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Representative Lee Hamilton.

Impact and Affiliations

Neumann is a member of the editorial boards of three leading, peer-reviewed journals – Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the Journal of Strategic Studies 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 currently serves as the OSCE Chairman’s Special Representative for Fighting Radicalisation and advises the Club de Madrid, the association of former Presidents and Prime Ministers, and was 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”. He has testified before a full session of the UN Security Council as well as 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. He has been 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, the Crime-Terror Nexus Project, the Global Center on Cooperative Security, and the Google Innovation Fund. In addition, he currently serves as part of a government commission which aims to improve the “security architecture” in Germany’s largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Teaching and Education

At the Department of War Studies, Neumann created the MA in Terrorism, Security and Society, and co-directed the programme from 2008 to 2016. He currently supervises seven PhD students, and has taught courses on terrorism, counterterrorism, intelligence, radicalization and counter-radicalization at King’s College London and Sciences Po (Lyon), and continues to serve as Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

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


Periodicals (selected)

  • ‘Islamic State’s nature and dynamics are certain to change’, The Security Times, February 2018. Available here.
  • ‘London attack: How are extremists radicalised?’, BBC News, 5 June 2017. Available here.
  • ‘Kalifat geht, Terror bleibt’, FOCUS Magazin, 4. September 2016. Available here.
  • ‘Media Freedom and Responsibility in Terrorism Coverage’, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22 August 2016 (with Georg Mascolo). 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.
  • ‘Why Nobody Saw 9/11 Coming’, New York Times, 27 March 2004. Available here.
  • ‘Der Anti-Abenteurer’, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13 January 2013.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Inside ISIS: So finanziert sich die Terrorbande’, BILD, 1 December 2015. 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.
  • ‘Passagierselektion macht es Terroristen leicht’, Der Spiegel, 29 December 2010. Available in German here.
  • ‘Warum ISIS für Europa immer gefährlicher wird’, BILD, 3 July 2015. Available in German here.
  • ‘Osama Bin Laden’s Death Hurt Al Qaeda… But Now It Hunts with Lone Wolves’, The Sun, 1 May 2012.

Monographs and Edited Volumes

  • Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror (London: Hurst, 2019)
  • 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

  • ‘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).
  • ‘Algorithmen und Agenten‘, Internationale Politik, November7December 2014.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Anglo-American Perceptions of Osama bin Laden after 9/11’ in Lawrence Freedman and Jeffrey Michaels (eds.), Scripting Middle East Leaders: The Impact of Leadership Perceptions on US and UK Foreign Policy (London: Bloomsbury, 2012) (with Fernande van Tets).
  • ‘The government’s response’ in James Dingley (ed.), Combating Terrorism in Northern Ireland (New York and London, 2009).
  • ‘The rise of the paramilitaries’ in James Dingley (ed.), Combating Terrorism in Northern Ireland (New York and London, 2009).
  • ‘Negotiating with Terrorists’, Foreign Affairs, 86(1) (2007), pp. 128-38.
  • ‘Al Qaeda in Europe: Policy Priorities after the Iraq War’ in Dan Hansen and Magnus Ranstorp (ed.), Cooperating Against Terrorism: EU-US Relations Post September 11 (Stockholm: SNDC, 2007).
  • ‘Russia, the European Union and the Fight against Terrorism’ in Aurel Braun (ed.), Building Trust and Strengthening Democracy: NATO-Russia Relations in the 21st Century (New York and London: Routledge, 2007).
  • ‘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.
  • ‘From Revolution to Devolution: Is the IRA Still a Threat to Peace in Northern Ireland?’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 13(1) (2005), S. 79-92.
  • ‘Bringing in the Rogues: Political Violence, the British Government and Sinn Fein’, Terrorism and Political Violence, 15(3) (2003), S. 154-71.
  • ‘Winning the “War on Terror”? Roy Mason’s Contribution to Counter-Terrorism in Northern Ireland’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 14(3) (2003), S. 45-64.
  • ‘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

  • ‘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).

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