ARTIS Seminar Series on Political Violence

Each seminar, hosted by the Center on Terrorism and sponsored ARTIS, focuses on a singular aspect of terrorism. An invited speaker presents on a topic and a question-and-answer period follows. The seminars are free and open to the public, they are also a core component of the Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies curriculum offered through the center. We warmly welcome all those interested in  or currently working in the field of terrorism. This is an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas helpful to the academic and practitioner alike.


Center on Terrorism at John Jay College – Spring 2019 Friday Seminar Series

We’re pleased to announce the schedule for our Friday Seminar Series for this Spring. Note that all seminars will be in rm.630 of Haaren Hall on the John Jay Campus (899 10th Ave.) from 3-5pm.

Friday, February 1

Tamar Mitts, “Countering Violent Extremism and Support for ISIS on Social Media

Tamar Mitts is Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She is a political scientist who uses data science and machine learning to examine the dynamics of conflict and political violence, with a focus on the causes and consequences of radicalization and violent extremism.

Her current research examines the behavior of Islamic State supporters on social media. She studies how supporters respond to experiences of anti-Muslim hostility in the West, how they react to online propaganda, and whether they are sensitive to counter-extremism programs aiming to reduce radicalization. These projects draw on new data on the online behavior of over a million users linked to the Islamic State on Twitter.

Her other projects examine the social and political legacies of violence and terrorism, the way in which symbolic attachment to territory shapes the resolution of territorial disputes, and the role of rapidly-evolving media technologies on political processes around the world.

Friday, March 1

Mary Beth Altier, “Returning to the Fight: An Empirical Analysis of Terrorist Re-engagement and Recidivism”

Reading: "Turning away from terrorism: Lessons from psychology, sociology, criminology" & "Why They Leave: An Analysis of Terrorist Disengagement Events from Eighty-Seven Autobiographical Accounts"

Dr. Mary Beth Altier is a Clinical Assistant Professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and Director of NYU’s Initiative on Emerging Threats. She received her Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2011 and then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Pennsylvania State University on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.K. government funded project on terrorist disengagement, re-engagement, and recidivism. She also worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a project on civil war and democratization based at Nuffield College.

Dr. Altier’s research interests are in international security, foreign policy, political violence, and political behavior. Her recent work centers on  why individuals’ support the use of political violence in developed and developing democracies as well as why they participate in acts of political violence, especially terrorism. She is also interested in the disengagement and rehabilitation of ex-combatants and identifying empirically based methods for assessing risk of re-engagement. Dr. Altier is preparing a book manuscript based upon her dissertation, which won the 2013 American Political Science Association’s Ernst B. Haas award, and she is also the 2015 recipient of the American Political Science Association’s Organized Section on European Politics and Society’s Best Paper Award. Her research has been featured in the Journal of Peace ResearchSecurity StudiesTerrorism and Political ViolenceGeorgetown Journal of International Affairs, and Journal of Strategic Security. She serves on the Editorial Board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression.

Friday, March 29

Edmund Fitton-Brown, “The evolving threat from ISIL and Al-Qaida

Edmund Fitton-Brown is Coordinator of the Monitoring Team that oversees United Nations Security Council sanctions against ISIL, Al-Qaida and the Taliban, a position he has held since 2018. He was previously a UK Diplomatic Service officer, finishing as UK Ambassador to Yemen in 2017. His prior diplomatic postings were in Finland, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Italy and the UAE.

Friday, May 3

Michele Gelfand

Michele Gelfand is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gelfand uses field, experimental, computational, and neuroscience methods to understand the evolution of culture--as well as its multilevel consequences for human groups. Her work has been cited over 20,000 times and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston GlobeNational Public RadioVoice of AmericaFox NewsNBC NewsABC NewsThe EconomistDe Standard, among other outlets.

Gelfand has published her work in many scientific outlets and has received over $13 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the FBI. Most recently, she is the author of, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire the World (Scribner, 2018) and co-editor of, Values, Political Action, and Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Friday, May 17

Center on Terrorism special event; further details forthcoming.