Dr Julia Ebner

Subject: Anthropology

Academic position: Calleva Postdoctoral Researcher


Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Despotism, Threats to Democracy


Dr Julia Ebner is a researcher specialising in radicalisation, extremism and terrorism studies. She is a postdoctoral Researcher at the Calleva Centre for Evolution and Human Science and a Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion. Julia completed her DPhil in Anthropology at the University of Oxford as a fully funded ESRC DTP Scholar and a St John’s College Alumni Fund Scholar. Based on her DPhil research, she was a finalist for the ESRC Impact Prize 2023 and the MRS President’s Medal 2023.

After completing a dual master’s degree in international relations and history at LSE and Peking University, Julia worked as a researcher for the Quilliam Foundation and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue for several years. On the basis of her research on extremist movements and activities in the UK, Europe and North America, she acted as a Special Advisor on Terrorism Prevention for the United Nations and has given evidence to parliamentary working groups, intelligence agencies and tech companies. On the side, she works as an investigative journalist and writer, regularly contributing to The Guardian, The Independent, The Washington Post and other outlets.

Julia’s first book The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) received the 2018 Bruno Kreisky Award for the Political Book of the Year 2018 and was translated into several languages. Her second internationally bestselling book Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists (Bloomsbury) was a Telegraph Book of the Year 2020 and won the “Science Book of the Year 2020” prize (“Wissenschaftsbuch des Jahres 2020”) as well as the Dr Caspar Einem Prize. Her latest book Going Mainstream: How Extremists Are Taking Over (Ithaka Press) was released in 2023.

Selected Publications

Ebner, J. and H. Whitehouse, “Identity and Extremism: Sorting out the causal pathways to radicalization and violent self-sacrifice”, The Routledge Handbook on Radicalization and Countering Radicalization (Abington: Routledge, 2023)

Ebner, J., C. Kavanagh and H. Whitehouse, “Measuring socio-psychological drivers of extreme violence in online terrorist manifestos: an alternative linguistic risk assessment model, Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, August 2023.

Ebner, J., C. Kavanagh and H. Whitehouse, “Assessing Violence Risk among Far-Right Extremists: A New Role for Natural Language Processing“, Terrorism and Political Violence, July 2023.

Ebner, J., C. Kavanagh and H. Whitehouse, “The QAnon Security Threat: A Linguistic Fusion-Based Violence Risk Assessment”, Perspectives on Terrorism Vol. 16(6), December 2022.

Ebner, J., C. Kavanagh and H. Whitehouse “Is There a Language of Terrorists? A Comparative Manifesto Analysis”, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, August 2022.