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Lecturer on Collective Violence, University of St Andrews

Jeffrey Murer joined the School of International Relations in the autumn of 2007 as the new Lecturer on Collective Violence. His appointment is to both IR and the School of Psychology; he is also a Research Fellow to the Centre for the Study on Terrorism and Political Violence and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. Prior to coming to St. Andrews he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College in the United States. Dr. Murer received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he won the Annual Graduate Dissertation Prize in 2000. He has also held visiting positions at Haverford and Providence Colleges, was a Visiting Researcher to the Central European University in Budapest, and was a Guest Lecturer at the Volgograd Academy for State Service in Russia.

Dr. Murer’s research explores processes of collective identity formation and their relationship to enactments of violence. He examines how shifts in material conditions, or anxiety about potential alterations in material conditions, can be experienced by many within a given polity as trauma, and how the various reactions to the experience of trauma can lead to ethnic conflict, civil strife, or ethnic chauvinism. He has explored these phenomena in the context of the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Central Europe – particularly Hungary – in the aftermath of the collapse of Realized Socialism; extremist nationalism in Post-Communist Romania; ethnic conflict in wars of the Former Yugoslavia; and in the violent clashes in Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus. His latest research examines the challenges of absorbing new immigrant populations into Western European polities in the context of the retreating welfare state and shifting economic infrastructure. He has pursued his interest in the collective psychological effects of changing political economies as an Associate Research Fellow to the University of Paris, an Academic Fellow to the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and a National Fellow to the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Research Fields
Collective Identity Formation, Collective Conflict, Ethnic Conflict, Class and Race, Nationalism, Extremist Politics, Radicalization, Critical Theory, Marxism, Political Economy, Psychology and Psychoanalytic Theory, Collective Trauma and Cultural Mourning


  • –present
    Lecturer on Collective Violence, University of St Andrews
  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College


  • 1999 
    University of Illinois at Chicago, PhD
  • 1988 
    University of Wisconsin at Madison, B.A.


  • 2011
    Listening to Radicals: The Findings of the European Study of Youth Mobilisation (ESYM), British Council
  • 2010
    Institutionalising Enemies: The Consequences of Reifying Projection in Post-Conflict Environments, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society
  • 2009
    Radical Citizenship as a Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Why We May Need More than De-Radicalisation, Public Service Review: Home Affairs
  • 2006
    Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Routledge

Grants and Contracts

  • 2011
    European Study of Youth Mobilisation
    Principal Investigator
    Funding Source:
    British Council

Research Areas

  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy (160609)
  • Psychoanalytic Philosophy (220318)
  • Social And Community Psychology (170113)
  • Social Change (160805)
  • Social Theory (160806)


First Prize, Best Graduate Dissertation in Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago 2000

U.S. State Department Speaker and Specialist Award, Terrorism and the Future of Democracy, Volgograd, Russia 2003