Media & Public Engagement

Research in Context

Dr. Miller-Idriss' research has always focused on post-secondary education settings and the transition to adulthood, especially for vulnerable and at-risk youth. After working in the school-to-work movement in the 1990s for the Cornell Youth and Work Program, the Center for Learning and Competitiveness at the University of Maryland, and the Maryland State Department of Education, Miller-Idriss returned to graduate school and earned a Masters in Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Michigan. She then spent a decade on the faculty at NYU before moving in 2013 to American University, where she is now Professor of Education and Sociology. 

In Germany, Miller-Idriss spent over twenty years studying vocational schools and their impact on working class national, global, and extremist identities. In the US, together with a team of colleagues at the SSRC, she spent over a decade studying the production of knowledge about world regions in the US university sector, focused on the Middle East and its neighboring regions: Eurasia/Russia, South Asia, and Central Asia. In her current role, Miller-Idriss is focused on designing and testing out-of-the box intervention ideas to prevent and disrupt radicalization to extremism. Her research lab at American University, the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL), offers evidence for the field of education, prevention and counterextremism on what works.


Public Engagement

Miller-Idriss started her career in public policy, and as an academic now, she is committed to trying to connect research knowledge with practitioners, policymakers, and the general public. She is a Senior Fellow and Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Centre for Analysis on the Radical Right (CARR), which focuses on the public dissemination of research and expertise about the radical right. She serves on the international advisory board for the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) in Oslo, Norway, and is a non-resident fellow at GWU's Program on Extremism and Berkeley's Center for Right Wing Studies.


Miller-Idriss has testified before the U.S. Congress and regularly advises US and foreign government representatives on issues of far right extremism, white supremacist extremism and terrorism. She  frequently shares expertise with journalists for major national news outlets globally, including both print and broadcast media. She is previous co-director of two global research networks, on radicalism and violence and on youth extremism.


Miller-Idriss has extensive experience advising clients on a range of issues related to the modern, transnational far right, changes in strategies and tactics related to youth radicalization, recent transformations in extremist youth scenes, and a range of issues related to evaluation methodology, multi-site research design and strategic decision making in higher education. She is a part of the Duco expert community (see Duco profile here.)


Miller-Idriss serves on the international advisory board of the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) in Oslo, Norway, and as Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR) in the U.K. She is also an editorial board member for Brill's Global Populism book series, an editorial board member for the journals Contemporary Sociology and Kultūras studijas/Cultural Studies, an advisory board member for Journal for Deradicalization, and a co-editor of the Journal of Education in Muslim Societies (JEMS).

She serves regularly as an external reviewer or expert advisor for foundations, federal agencies, and fellowship competitions, most recently for the Austrian Science Fund, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, the NYU Abu Dhabi Humanities Research Fellowship Competition, the American Academy of Berlin Residential Fellowship Competition, the Open Society Foundation, and the Russian Science Foundation.

Editorial & Advisory

Media Appearances

Selected print, radio, and television appearances are listed below. For additional media appearances, click here

Interviewed by Rachael Levy for The Economist, "The Plot Against Gretchen Whitmer," October 17, 2020. 

Interviewed by Fortesa Latifi for Teen Vogue, "QAnon conspiracy theories are driving families apart," October 7, 2020.

Interviewed by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux for FiveThirtyEight, "How Trump and COVID-19 Have Reshaped the Modern Militia Movement." September 4, 2020.

Interviewed by Katanga Johnson for Reuters, "White nationalism upsurge in U.S. echoes historical pattern, say scholars." Reuters, September 4, 2020.

Appeared on CNN, August 30, 2020, to discuss militia and vigilante violence in the U.S.

Appeared on BBC World News, August 28, 2020, to discuss militia and vigilante violence in the U.S.

Interviewed for Rae Ellen Bichell's public radio article, "With Threat Of Online Radicalization 'Bigger Than Ever,' Researchers Offer Guide For Parents," KUNC Mountain West News Bureau, July 2, 2020.

Appearance on NPR's Morning Edition with Noel King and Errin Haines, "Experts Discuss White Nationalism and Trump's Controversial Retweet," July 1, 2020.

Interviewed for Hannah Allam's NPR article, "Pandemic Blues or Signs of Extremism? New Guide Teaches Parents to Stay Alert." June 30, 2020.

Interviewed for Nathan Taylor Pemberton's New York Times article, "What Do You Do When Extremism Comes for the Hawaiian Shirt?" June 29, 2020.

Interviewed for Emma Ellis' WIRED article, "The Meme-Fueled Rise of a Dangerous, Far-Right Militia." June 18, 2020.

Interviewed for Jacob Gallagher's The Wall Street Journal article, "Why the Extremist 'Boogaloo Boys' Wear Hawaiian Shirts." June 8, 2020.

Appearance on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to talk about far-right organizing related to the nationwide protests about COVID-19 related shelter-in-place orders. April 20, 2020.

Interviewed and cited in Neil MacFarquhar's New York Times article, "Oklahoma City Marks 25 Years Since America's Deadliest Homegrown Attack." April 19, 2020.

Interviewed and quoted by Hannah Allam for NPR article, "'A Perfect Storm': Extremists look for ways to exploit Coronavirus pandemic." April 16, 2020.

Interviewed by Jess McHugh for Fortune story, “Migrants, refugees are the human cost of coronavirus politics, experts say”, March 27, 2020

Television appearance on Al Jazeera’s UpFront with Mehdi Hasan and Christian Picciolini, “How big a threat is white nationalism?, March 14, 2020

Appearance on Al Jazeera's UpFront with Mehdi Hasan to discuss the one year anniversary of the Christchurch attacks and the current state of white supremacist extremism, March 11, 2020.

Interviewed on BBC Newsnight to discuss the attacks in Halle, Germany, February 20, 2020


Featured guest on BBC World News to discuss the Richmond, VA guns' rights rally and the rise of white supremacist extremism, January 20, 2020.

Interviewed by Joel Rose for NPR's All Things Considered, "Calls Grow for Stephen Miller to Leave White House After Leaked Emails." November 25, 2019.


Guest on WNYC's The Takeaway, "A Growing Catalog of Hate Symbols," September 30, 2019.

Interviewed and quoted in The New York Times' "OK Hand Sign is a Hate Symbol, Anti-Defamation League Says," by Neil MacFarquhar, September 26, 2019.

Guest on C-SPAN's Washington Journal for a discussion of white supremacist extremism, August 8, 2019.

Guest on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews for discussion of white supremacist extremism. August 6, 2019.

Appearances on BBC Evening News, Deutsche Welle, Sky News, Austrian public radio, and more on August 5, 2019 to discuss the El Paso terror attack.

"National Security Officers Debate What to Call the Far Right Threat." NPR's All Things Considered, with Hannah Allam, June 18, 2019

"Weaponizing Science for the Greater Good." Appearance on Science/AAAS webinar panel, June 6, 2019.

In-depth discussion of The Extreme Gone Mainstream on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, with host Laurie Taylor, April 3, 2019.

Television appearances on Al Jazeera English, March 15, 2019 and Al Jazeera Inside Story, March 28, 2019, for discussions of the far right globally in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand.

Interviewed and quoted in Think Progress article by Alan Pyke, "The dark history of the New Zealand killer's 'great replacement,'" March 15, 2019.

Radio interview with Pat Kenny for Ireland's Newstalk on why women vote for the far right, January 29, 2019.


Featured speaker at Washington Post Live event "The New New Thing in Higher Ed," January 17, 2019.

Video interview with Germany's Federal Institute for Civic Education on banal nationalism and everyday nationhood, published December 2018.


Featured cultural and political commentator in Austria's DATUM Magazin "Stammtisch" feature, December 2018.

Interviewed and quoted by Oliver Kühn for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Was ist aus der 'Alt-Right' Bewegung geworden?" November 2, 2018.


Interviewed and quoted by Sara Barderas for mdz, "EEUU: por qué las elecciones son una prueba de fuego para el feminismo." November 2, 2018.

Featured expert on NBC's The Today Show for "How White Nationalists are trying to infiltrate campuses," October 17, 2018.

Featured expert on NBC News for "White Nationalist Leader is Plotting to 'Take Over the GOP'", October 17, 2018

Interviewed and quoted by Anna Schechter for NBC News, "White nationalist leader is plotting to take over the GOP'", October 17, 2018.

Featured guest on The Interview-- a France 24 program featuring an interview with "a French or international personality from the world of politics, economics, culture or diplomacy," with Armen Georgian for France 24 on the mainstreaming of extremism in Europe and the U.S., September 13, 2018.


Television appearance on Al Jazeera News' Inside Story, discussing far right violence in Chemnitz, Germany, September 1, 2018.


Live radio appearance on The Morning Show with Carrie Kaufman, Wisconsin Public Radio, August 13, 2018.

Interviewed and quoted by Rebecca Tan for The Washington Post, "Steve Bannon plans a far-right ‘supergroup’ in Europe, but some key far-right leaders say they’re not interested," August 14, 2018


VICE Magazine-Germany interview and Q&A discussion with Thomas Vorreyer, "Viele Rechtsextreme verstehen ihre eigenen T-shirts nicht." (Many right-wing extremists don't understand their own t-shirts), February 28, 2018.

VICE Magazine author Q&A interview with Allie Conti for "Learn to Spot the Secret Signals of Far Right Fashion." February 12, 2018.

Featured expert in Julia Schmalz's Chronicle of Higher Education video doc, "What Lies Ahead in the Campus Free Speech Wars?" September 13, 2017.

Live radio appearance on Wisconsin Public Radio discussing the Charlottesville, VA "Unite the Right" rally and violence, August 14, 2017.

Live radio interview with Mark Sutcliffe for 1310 News in Ottowa about her mother's day essay on dealing with a parent's dementia, May 15, 2017.

Interviewed on commercialization and right-wing extremism by Thomas Rogers for The New Republic, 2014.

Interviewed on far right youth in Germany by Thomas Rogers for Rolling Stone magazine, 2014. Quotes reprinted in New York Times op-essay.

Interviewed on far right in Germany on Bayerischer Rundfunk (German public radio), 2012. Translated and replayed on French radio.

Media Inquiries

To request an interview for a news story, contact American University communications +1.202.885.5950 or submit a request

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© 2020 Cynthia Miller-Idriss