Lecturer on Collective Violence
Member of the Young Academy of Scotland
I am part of the first cohort associated with the Royal Edinburgh Society, the Academy of Arts and Sciences for Scotland. The Young Academy was created in 2011.
IR3044 Pathways of European State Formation
IR4538 Identity, Belonging and Others
IR5033 Collective Violence and Identity
IR5041 Social Identity and the Making of Community: Anxiety, Threat and Security
Team Taught Modules
SS5201 Critical Theory and Post-Structural Theory
Keywords: Ethnic Conflict, Communal Violence, Terrorism, Collective Identity Formation, Identity Politics, Cultural Politics, Micro-Politics, Youth Mobilization
My research explores the psycho-social processes associated with collective and individual identity formation in the context of conflict and through violence. I am interested in exploring how anxiety can motivate social action, and how perceptions of material change can prompt not only violence but also a profound realignment of the boundaries of identity. I have examined these phenomena in the contexts of expressions of anti-Semitism in Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe, the wars of the Former Yugoslavia, in the conflicts of the Northern Caucasus, and now in tense community relations of multiethnic neighbourhoods of the UK, Central and Northern Europe.
Recently I explored these questions as the Principal Investigator of the European Survey of Youth Mobilisation (ESYM), a research strand of the InterCultural Navigators Project sponsored by the British Council. This research examined the motivations and self understandings of young people involved in "radical" politics and explores the processes by which young people become socially and politically mobilised. The research was conducted in eleven cities in Central Europe and the Nordic countries, and included 800 interviews with youths associated with a wide range of political and social movements, and from many different religions and ethnicities. It explores the perspectives, motivations, and manifestations of political and social activities of young people who articulate positions or opinions that differ significantly from the assumptions of liberal politics.
Generally in my research I explore the confluences of conflict, collective violence, terrorism, psychology, psychoanalysis, critical theory, cultural studies, identity formation, and political economy.
Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Reveron, Derek and Jeffrey Murer eds., (Routledge 2006)
“Ethnic Conflict: An Ovciew of Anlyzing and Framing Communal Conflicts From Comparative Perspectives” Terrorism and Political Violence Vol. 24 (4) 2012; pp.561-580.
"Security, Identity and the Discourse of Conflation in Far-Right Violence" Journal of Terrorism Research, Vol. 2 (2) 2011; pp. 15-26.
Listening to Radicals: Attitudes and Motivations of Young People Engaged in Political and Social Movements Outside of the Mainstream in Central and Nordic Europe, British Council Report, March 2011
"Institutionalizing Enemies: The Consequences of Reifying Projection in Post-Conflict Environments"; Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society; 15(1) 2010; pp. 1-19;
"Constructing the Enemy-Other: Anxiety, Trauma and Mourning in the Narratives of Political Conflict"; Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society; 14(2) 2009; pp. 109-130;
"Overcoming Mixed Feelings about Mixed Methodologies: Complex Strategies for Research Among Hidden Populations"; eSharp Special Volume: Critical Issues in Researching Hidden Communities; (14) 2009: pp. 99-130;
“Radical Citizenship as a Counter-terrorism Strategy: Why We May Need More Than De-Radicalisation"; Public Service Review: Home Affairs; (19) 2009; pp. 42-43.
“La terreur des opprimés – Un examen comparatiste des réponses au terrorisme” in Topique: Revue Freudienne, Number 83 2003, pp. 13-22 (Translated into French by Thamy Ayouch)
“Historical Contingency and the Political Economy of Nations” in International Politics; Vol. 39(2) 2002; pp. 235-244
"Asking for More: Finding Utopia in the Critical Sociology of the Budapest School & Praxis Movement"; In Marx's Shadow. Power, Knowledge and Intellectuals in Eastern Europe and Russia; Costica Bradatan, Serguei Oushakine (ed); (Lexington Press, 2010) pp. 37-52
“Terrorist or FreedomFighter? Tyrant or Guardian?” co-authored with Derek S. Reveron, in Pirates, Terrorists, and Warlords: The History, Influence, and Future of Armed Groups Around the World; Jeffrey Norwitz (ed); (Skyhorse, 2009) pp. 311-322.
“The Caucasus” in Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Reveron, Derek and Jeffrey Murer eds., (Routledge, 2006), pp. 87-116.
“Resolving Political Conflict: The Consequences of Fighting the War on Terrorism” with Derek S, Reveron, in Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Reveron, Derek and Jeffrey Murer eds., (Routledge, 2006), pp. 305-330.
“Abjection: Applying Julia Kristeva’s Concept of Splitting to Collective Identity Formation” in (Des)obeissance et droits humains, Kiss, Adam, ed., (L'Harmattan, 2002), pp 179-198.
“The Clash Within: Intrapsychically Created Enemies and Their Roles in Ethno-Nationalist Conflict” in Violence and Politics: Globalization’s Paradox, Worcester, Kent, Ungar, Mark, and Bermanzohn, Sally eds., (Routledge, 2002), pp.209-225.
“Mainstreaming Extremism: The Romanian PDSR in Comparative Perspective” in Communist Successor Parties: Ten Years of Transformation, Bozóki, András and Ishiyama, John, eds., (M.E. Sharpe, 2002), pp. 367-396.
“Transparency and Obfuscation: Constructing Modernist Power and the Possibilities of Transcendence” in Power in Russia: Theory, Traditions, Prospects, Anipkin, Mikhail, ed., (University of Volgograd Press, 2000), pp. 13-26.
“Challenging Expectations: A Comparative Study of the Communist Successor Parties of Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania” in Communist Successor Parties in Post-Communist Politics, Ishiyama, John ed., (Nova Science, 1999), pp. 179-221.
Convenor of the School of International Relations Ethics Committee (IR SEC) 2009-present
Youth Mobilisation in Europe - Intercultural Navigators Project, funded by British Council 2008-2011
Associate Editor Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society
Advisory Board openSecurity
Invited Talks, Lectures and Seminars
Fluid Identities and Shifting Positionalities in Communal Conflict for Bamberg University, Bamberg Germany, 16 May 2013.
Young People and Collective Violence for U.S. Congressional Briefing Moving Beyond Arrest: Policing and Young People, Washington, D.C. 9 April, 2013.
Fantasies of Hate: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Roma Politics of the Contemporary Hungarian Radical Right for The Holocaust in Hungary: Seventy years Later at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C. 19 March 2014.
Selected Previous Talks:
The Violence of Anxiety:The Collective Action of Hungary's Extreme Right in a Time of Austerity for Interdisciplinary Approached to Violence Seminar, Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Aberdeen, 6 February 2013.
Belonging, Agency & Social Media: Identity Beyond the Mainstream for BELSPO The Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, Brussels, 24 May 2012.
What are We Talking About When We Talk About Conflict for Cartoons at the Front Lines: Picasso and the Spanish Civil War at the Picasso Museum, Barcelona, 6 April 2011.
Listening to Radicals: Findings from the European Study of Youth Mobilisation at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen, 13 April 2011
Depictions of Radicals - Depictions of Violence in the Media at the Global Forum for Counter Radicalisation, Paris, 22 October 2011.
Relative Deprivation, Communal Identity and Collective Violence at The Determinants of Social Conflict: A Scientific Conference, Fundacion Ramon Areces and Instituto de Analisis Economico, CSIC. Madrid, 11-13 January 2011.
Exploring Political and Social Activism for Young People at The Edinburgh Festival of Politics Young People's Day, Edinburgh, 20 August 2010.
The Need for Radical Citizenship: Working With Youth Communities at the Grass Roots Level at Counter Terror Expo 2009, London, 2 February 2009.
Cooperation, Cordination, and Community: Integrated Responses to the Glasgow Bombing at the Royal United Services Institute, London, 28 February 2008
Electronic Journal Contributions:
Toxic Images or Imaging the Other in OpenDemocracy, 22 March 2013: http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/jeffrey-stevenson-murer/toxic-images-or-imaging-other-0
Who is the Enemy Other in OpenDemocracy, 4 April 2012: http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/jeffrey-stevenson-murer/who-is-enemy-other
A Bolt From the Blue : Making sense of seemingly aberrant political violence in OpenDemocracy, 12 October 2011: http://www.opendemocracy.net/jeffrey-stevenson-murer/bolts-from-blue-method-and-madness-in-west
Is Youth Violence a Legitimate Response to the Political System in World.edu: the Global Education Network: http://world.edu/youth-violence-legitimate-response-political-system/
Youth Violence and Group Identity: Understanding Radical Protest in The Conversation, 30 Septermber 2011 http://theconversation.com/youth-violence-and-group-identity-understanding-radical-protest-2900
"English Riots were neither mindless nor purely criminal" in The Conversation, 15 August 2011: http://theconversation.com/english-riots-were-neither-mindless-nor-purely-criminal-2806
Current Research Students
John Tsukayama "Democracies and the Use of Torture in Counter-terrorism"
Dmitry Chernobrov "Analysis and Management of Sterotypes in Conflicts" Scottish Overseas Research Student Award 2011 - Fullbright Award 2010
Pinar Kadioglu "Reconciliation of Turkish and Greek Communities in Cyprus"
Kathryn Smith "Food Security and Collective Violence in Times of Economic Crisis" Neiman Fellowship Harvard University 2013
William Thomson "Conflict Transformation: Non-violent Approaches to the Protracted Israel-Palestine Conflict" Co-supervised with Prof. Patrick Hayden (IR)
Sana Belal Sukhera "Political Elites as Outgroup: Political Participation, Collective Action and Identity in Pakistan" Co-supervised with Prof. Stephen Reicher (Psychology)
PhD Supervision topics
Completed PhD Students:
Monika Gabriela Bartoszewicz 2012 "Controversies of Conversions: Narrative Frameworks of European Converts to Islam"
Oliver Lauenstein 2012 "From Family Metaphor to National Attachment? A Social Identity Approach Towards Framing Nationhood" Co-Supervised with Prof. Stephen Reicher (Psychology) & Prof. Margarte Boos (Psychology, University of Göttingen)
Nea Finne 2013 "Needs, Identity and Leadership: A Theory of Conflict and Change"