Dr Jeffrey Stevenson Murer, Senior Lecturer


Dr Jeffrey Stevenson Murer is a Senior Lecturer in Collective Violence, a Research Fellow to the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a Research Fellow to the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, and was Principal Investigator for the European Study of Youth Mobilisation (ESYM), funded by the British Council.

Prior to coming to the University of St Andrews, Dr Murer received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College. He also held the following posts:

  • Associate Research Fellow to the Doctoral School for Research in Psychoanalysis at Paris Diderot University (VII)
  • Academic Fellow to the Psychoanalytic Centre of Philadelphia
  • National Fellow to the American Psychoanalytic Association.

In 2011, Dr Murer was among the first cohort inducted into the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland. In 2016 he was awarded the "Contributions to Excellence in Education" teaching prize.

Research areas

Dr Murer’s research explores the formation, consolidation, and transformations of large group identity formation, and particularly the roles that violence, materiality, production, and consumption play within them. 

He is interested in the intersections of many social research disciplines, including the analytical insights gained through reading across the literatures of anthropology, sociology, politics, and psychology, especially psychodynamically informed social theory. 

He explores the themes of belonging and identity – and its associated cognates of exclusion and alienation – through close readings informed by Marxian and Psychoanalytic theories, as well as social research methodologies of in-depth interviews, ethnography, practice research, and phenomenological analysis.

As his title suggests, his research examines the many facets and experiences associated violence, as well as exploring the paths and practices of ameliorating the conditions and practices that promote the perpetration of violence in all of its forms.

His research compares the experiences of collective violence in Central and Eastern Europe with those of Northern and Western Europe. In the past this has included investigations of the wars and aftermath of the conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia, identity and terrorist violence in the Northern Caucasus region, and Antisemitism and Anti-Roma violence in Central Europe.

His new research explores the politics of anxiety associated with changing financial landscapes and patterns of migration in contemporary Europe.



  • Repeating Hate: Narratives of Loss and Anxiety among the Hungarian Far-Right (Palgrave Psychosocial Series 2017) forthcoming.
  • Perpetrating Selves: Doing Violence, Performing Identity, Clare Bielby and Jeffrey Murer eds., (Palgrave Sociology Series 2017) forthcoming.
  • Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Reveron, Derek and Jeffrey Murer eds., (Routledge 2006).

Peer reviewed articles

  • “Communities of Violence: Narrative, performance, audience, and violence as group values” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism forthcoming 2017.
  • “Against Liberalism: The Rise of Jobbik, Populism and the Symbolic Politics of Illiberalism in Contemporary Hungary” Polish International Affairs Quarterly Special Issue on Far-Right Violence in Europe, No. 2 (2015), pp. 79-102.
  • “The Emergence of a Lumpen-consumerate: The Aesthetics of Consumption and Violence in the English Riots of 2011” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 28 (2) 2015, pp.161-178.
  • “Oh Motherland I pledge to thee: A Study in Nationalism, Gender, and the Representations of an Imagined Family Within National Anthems” O. Lauenstein, J.S. Murer, M. Boos, & S. Reicher, Nations and Nationalisms, Vol. 21 (2) 2015, pp. 309-329.
  • “Europese bekeerlingen tot de islam: risico op radicalisering?” [Recent European Converts to Islam: A Risk of Radicalistion?] M.G. Bartoszewicz, J.S. Murer, & M. Easton in Orde van de Dag [Order of the Day], Issue 62, June 2013.
  • “An experimental trial exploring the impact of continuous transdermal alcohol monitoring upon alcohol consumption in a cohort of male students” F.G. Neville, D.J. Williams, C. Goodall, J.S. Murer, & P.D. Donnelly in PLoS ONE 8, 6, e67386, August 2013.
  • “Ethnic Conflict: An Overview of Analyzing and Framing Communal Conflicts from Comparative Perspectives” Terrorism and Political Violence Vol. 24 (4) 2012, pp. 561-580.
  • “Security, Identity, and Discourse of Conflation in Far-Right Violence” Journal of Terrorism Studies, Vol. 2 (2) 2011, pp. 15-26.
  • “Institutionalizing Enemies: The Consequences of Reifying Projection in Post-Conflict Environments”; Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society; 15(1) 2010, pp. 1-19.
  • “The Myth of Autonomy: Subjectivity, Heteronomy, and the Violence of Liberal Individualism” in Polish Political Science Yearbook 2010, pp.126-148.
  • “Overcoming Mixed Feelings about Mixed Methodologies: Complex Strategies for Research Among Hidden Populations"; eSharp Special Volume: Critical Issues in Researching Hidden Communities; Autumn 2009 (14), pp. 99-130.
  • “Constructing the Enemy-Other: Anxiety, Trauma and Mourning in the Narratives of Political Conflict"; Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, Summer 2009 14(2), pp. 09-130.
  • “La terreur des opprimés – Un examen comparatiste des réponses au terrorisme” in Topique: Revue Freudienne, 2003, Number 83, pp. 13-22 (Translated into French by Thamy Ayouch).
  • “Historical Contingency and the Political Economy of Nations” in International Politics; 2002 39(2), pp. 235-244.

Book chapters

  • “Four Monuments and the Politics of Funerals: Established Pathological Mourning and Collective Memory” in Fomenting Political Violence: Fantasy, Language, Media, Action, Krugger, Steve and Barry Richards eds, (Palgrave) forthcoming 2017.
  • “Violent Imaginaries: Group Unity, Projection, and Purity in Absolute States of Mind” in The Feeling of Certainty: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Identity and Prejudice (Palgrave McMillian) forthcoming 2017.
  • “Understanding collective violence: The communicative and performative qualities of violence in acts of belonging” in International Criminal Law and Criminology, Ilias Bantekas, ed, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 287-315.
  • “Suspension, Exception, Silence: Anti-terrorism discourses and the challenges to human rights from state security” in Human Rights, Human Security, State Security, Vol. 1 The Intersection, Saul Takahashi, ed., Praeger 2014, pp. 125-144.
  • “Asking for More: The Humanist Marxism 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 Freedom Fighter? 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.
  • “Introduction: Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism” with Derek S. Reveron, in Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Reveron, D. & Murer, J. (eds.). (Routledge, 2006), pp. xi-xxvi.
  • “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 Publishers, 1999), pp. 179-221.
  • “Employing the Past: The Resurrection of Nationalist and Antisemitic Rhetoric in the Search for a New Hungarian Identity” in Memory, History and Critique: European Identity at the Millennium. Brinkhuis, F. & Talmor, S. (eds.). (The University of Humanist Studies, 1998), pp. 215-227.


  • Monitoring and Evaluation Tools for Assessing Police Interventions in Fragile and Conflict Affected States: Findings and Recommendations, with Dr. Georgina Sinclair, for the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, March 2016.
  • Addressing Hate and Violence: The Scottish Experience of Complexities and Communities a Report for the Young Academy of Scotland of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, March 2014.
  • 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, March 2011.


  • Down By Law: the Legal Impairment of Thailand’s Opposition, Report for Robert Amsterdam and Partners for International Criminal Court filing for United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), August 2011.

Non-peer reviewed articles

Encyclopaedia entries

  • "Human Rights: The Caucasus"; The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures Vol. II; Brill Academic Publishers; Family, Law & Politics: Leiden, The Netherlands, 2009; pp. 27-29.
  • "Women's Participation in the Military: The Caucasus"; The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures Vol. II; Brill Academic Publishers; Family, Law and Politics: Leiden, The Netherlands, 2009; 52-54.
  • "Mental Health: The Caucasus"; The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures Vol. III; Brill Academic Publishers; Family, Sexuality & Health: Leiden, The Netherlands, 2009; pp. 133-5.

Book reviews

  • “When the Law is more than the law: Law and Outsiders: Norms, Processes and “Othering” in the 21st Century” in In-Spire: Journal of Law, Politics and Societies, 2011 6(1), p. 73-74.
  • “Terrorism: A History by Randall D. Law” in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2010 33(7), pp. 1274-1275.
  • “Europe for Europeans: The Foreign and Security Policy of the Populist Radical Right by Christina Schori Liang” in Nationalities Papers: A Journal on Nationalism and Ethnicity, 2010 38 (4), pp. 586-587.
  • “Transformation and Crises: The Left and the Nation in Sweden and Denmark, 1956-1980” in Nationalities Papers: A Journal on Nationalism and Ethnicity, 2009 37(6), pp. 968-970.
  • “Socio-ideological Fantasy and the Northern Ireland Conflict: The Other Side by Adrian Millar” in Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, 2009 14(2), pp. 207-209.
  • “Why Neighbors Kill: Esses, V and R. Vernon (eds.), Explaining the Breakdown of Ethnic Relations”; Social Psychology Review; 2009 11(1), pp. 73-75.
  • “Witness to a Fraud: Loshina, Tanya with Ray Thomas and Mary Mayer, eds., The Imposition of a Fake Political Settlement in the Northern Caucasus: The 2003 Chechen Presidential Election,” (Stuttgart, ibidem-Verlag, 2007) in Nationalities Papers 35(4) Autumn 2007, pp.790-791.



  • Teaching Award for "Contributions in Excellence in Education",  St Andrews Student Association, University of St Andrews, April 2016

2018 to 2019 Modules

  • Pathways of European State Formation (IR3044)
  • Identity, Belonging and Others (IR4538)
  • Economy of Anger: Marxism, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Status (IR4572)

Team-taught modules

  • Theoretical Approaches to International Relations (IR2005)
    Topic: Marxism & Neo-Gramscianism
  • Issues in International Relations (IR2006)
    Topic: Identity & Ethnic Conflict
  • Terrorism and Liberal Democracy (IR5007)
    Topic: Illiberal Violence and the Ideological Challenges from the Far-Right
  • Postgraduate MLitt Dissertation (IR5099)
    Topic: IR & Social Science Research
  • Research Methods (IR5601)
    Topic: Ethnography, Autoethnography, and Observation
  • Fundamentals of Terrorist Violence (IR5921)
    Topic: Human Violence, Aggression and Group Conflict
  • Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences (SS5102)
    Topics: Critical Theory and Post-Structuralism

Module Convenor

  • Undergraduate Honours Dissertation (IR4099) only in Semester 2

Other listed modules

  • Collective Violence and Identity (IR5033)
  • Social Identity and the Making of Community: Anxiety, Threat and Security (IR5041)

Research students

First supervisor

  • Katarina Birkedal: Resistance Through Reproduction: Gender, violence, and the politics of cosplay; expected May 2019
  • Giovanna di Muaro: Political Artists and their motivations in post-Soviet Moldova; expected May 2019
  • Olga Burkhardt-Vetter: Revisiting the Nazi Legacy: Healing in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocities and Genocide in the Cases of Distomo and Auschwitz-Birkenau; expected September 2019

Joint supervisor

  • Alasdair Gordon-Gibson: Volunteerism and the Third Sector, the case of the International Committee of the Red Cross; expected September 2018. With Dr Eleanor Burt in the School of Management
  • Darya Tsymbalyuk: Memories of Home: Narratives of displacement in oral histories from Donbas, Ukraine, expected September 2021. With Dr Victoria Donovan, Russian Department in the School of Modern Languages

PhD supervision topics

Dr Murer can supervise on topics which include:

  • collective identity and large group formation
  • political and social violence
  • cultural memory
  • political and social affects of capitalism
  • psychoanalysis, Marxism
  • ethnic and communal conflict.

Completed PhD supervisions

  • Marat Ilyasov: Performing Chechen Identity: Religion and Authenticity in Diaspora; with Professor Rick Fawn in the School of International Relations. January 2017
  • Kathryn Smith: Sating hunger in an age of plenty: the global food governance space and its role in the establishment of an effective food security regime. November 2016.
  • Pinar Kadioglu: In the Grips of Monologism: A Half Century Old Stalemate in Cyprus Peace Talks; April 2016.
  • Dmitry Chernobrov: The Portrait of an Other: Metaphor, Stereotype and the Drawing Self in International Perception, March 2015.
  • William Thompson: Conflict Transformation: Non-violent Approaches to the Protracted Israel-Palestine Conflict, September 2014.
  • John Tsukayama: By Any Means Necessary: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis Study of Post 9/11 American Abusive Violence in Iraq, August 2013.
  • Nea Finne: Needs, Identity and Leadership: A Theory of Conflict and Change, January 2013.
  • Monika Bartoszewicz: Controversies of conversions: the potential terrorist threat of European converts to Islam, October 2012.
  • Oliver Lauenstein: The Use of Family Language Metaphors in Nationalist Discourse. October 2012, Co-Supervised by Prof. Stephen Reicher (Psychology, University of St Andrews) and Prof. Margarte Boos (Psychology, University of Göttingen).

Further information

Honours and grants

  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, May 2017 to present
  • Emeritus Member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2016 to present.
  • Member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2011 to 2016.
  • Principal Investigator, Exploring European Youth Radicalisation, British Council; 2008 to 2011.
  • Short Term Election Observer, Republic of Georgia, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); November 2003.              
  • U.S. State Department Speaker and Specialist Award, The Future of Civil Society in the Face of Terrorist Threats, Volgograd, Russia; June 2003.
  • Visiting Lecturer, Volgograd Academy for State Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Volgograd, Russia; June 2001.
  • First Prize Winner, Annual Graduate Dissertation Prize, Behavioural and Social Science Division, University of Illinois at Chicago; April 2000.
  • East European Junior Scholars’ Training Seminar Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars: Washington, D.C.; August 1999.
  • Fulbright Visiting Scholar Host Grant, Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), for Professor Cynthia Lum, George Mason University (USA), May to June 2016.
  • Carnegie Trust, Small Research Grant Award, Listening to Hate: Engagements and Voices from the Hungarian Far Right, 2013.
  • Enhancement Theme Grant, Ethel MacDonald Memorial Archive on Political Mobilisation and Activism, University of St Andrews, 2013.
  • British Council, Intercultural Navigators Grant, 2008 to 2011.
  • Scottish Institute for Policing Research Class Grant, 2009, 2012, 2014.

Editorial, advisory, and assessor positions

  • Associate Editor, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 2012- present.
  • Managing Board Member, Cultural Identity Studies Institute, St Andrews, 2014-present.
  • Managing Board Member, Centre for Film Studies, St Andrews, 2013-present.
  • Advisory Board for People’s High Schools for Europe, Åbenrå, Denmark, 2015- present.
  • Editorial Advisory Board, OpenSecurity, 2011-present.
  • Editorial Advisory Board and Reviewer, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 2007-present.
  • Editorial Advisory Board for Political Science: Scientific Journals International, 2006-present.
  • External Assessor, Irish Research Council, 2016.
  • External Reviewer, Research Foundation - Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek –Vlaanderen, FWO), 2014, 2015.
  • Grant Reviewer, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC UK), 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014.
  • Grant Reviewer, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research – Social Science Division (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek -- NWO), 2010, 2011, 2015.

Art projects and museum talks

  • Contributor to Opprør – Flammepunkt, by Mette Kaaby and Natasha Barrett, Eidsvoll 1814 Project, Oslo, Norway; September 2014. 
  • Consultant to Hearts and Minds: the Interrogation Project, by Rod Coover (Temple University), Scott Rettberg (Bergen University), Daria Tsoupikova and Mark Partridge (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago), John Tsukayama (St Andrews). See the project in action:

    • University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, 15 June 2014 and 23 June 2014, and 7 July 2014 and 12 July 2014.
    • Litteraturahuset, Oslo, Norway 13 February 2015.
    • University of Hull, England 17 September 2015.
  • “The Roots of Political Extremism” for The Next European Parliament: More Democratic? More Eurosceptic? Hungarian Europe Society, Open Society Archive, Budapest, Hungary, 15 May 2014. 

  • “Young People and Collective Violence: Identity, Performance and Expressions of Belonging Through Violence”, Centre for Evidence Based Crime Policy U.S. Congressional Briefing, Washington, D.C., 8 April 2013.


  • PhD: University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Political Science, 1992 to 1999.
  • Winner of Annual Graduate Dissertation Prize for Best Thesis in the Behavioural Sciences.
  • B.A. (Distinction): University of Wisconsin at Madison, Department of Political Science, 1985 to 1988.
  • Consortium of Institutional Cooperation (CIC): Northwestern University, Philosophy Department, 1994.
  • Student Exchange: Karl Marx Economic Sciences University, Budapest, Hungary, 1987.