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Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Professor of Education and Sociology, American University

Cynthia Miller-Idriss is Professor of Education and Sociology and runs the Polarization and Extremism Research & Innovation Lab (PERIL) in the Center for University Excellence (CUE).

In addition to her primary faculty appointments, Dr. Miller-Idriss is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology in the School of Public Affairs. She is also Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the U.K.-based Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right and serves on the international advisory board of the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) in Oslo, Norway. She has spent two decades researching radical and extreme youth culture in Europe and the U.S., most recently through a focus on how clothing, style and symbols act as a gateway into white supremacist extremism.

Dr. Miller-Idriss has testified before the U.S. Congress and frequently serves as a keynote speaker and expert panelist on trends in white supremacist extremism to global academic and policy communities as well as staff and representatives in U.S. and international government agencies and embassies.

Dr. Miller-Idriss is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six academic books, including Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right, forthcoming from Princeton University Press in fall 2020.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Miller-Idriss writes frequently for the mainstream press on youth radicalization, white supremacist extremism, and education, with recent by-lines at CNN, The Guardian, The Hill, Le Monde, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Fortune.

Dr. Miller-Idriss appears regularly in the U.S. and European print and broadcast media as an expert source and political commentator, including recent appearances on CNN, NBC Evening News, MSNBC, BBC World News, Deutsche Welle, Sky News, France 24, and more.

Prior to her arrival at American University in August 2013, Dr. Miller-Idriss served on the faculty of New York University for a decade, and also taught previously at the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) in Sociology and German Area Studies from Cornell University.


  • 2018–present
    Professor, American University
  • 2013–2018
    Associate Professor, American University
  • 2010–2013
    Associate Professor, New York University
  • 2003–2010
    Assistant Professor, New York University