I am a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I study ideas surrounding terrorism: how policymakers conceptualize threats from non-state actors, the assumptions underlying terrorism as a category of violence, and the consequences of those assumptions for both government and private actors on the ground. Regionally, I focus on Germany and the United States.
My dissertation project, The Idea of Terror: A Critical Approach to Consequences of the “Terrorist” Classifier, unpacks the intuition behind the idea that we “know terrorism when we see it” and develops a systematic logic shedding light on which organizations state actors call “terrorist” and the implications for national security policy. I also work on emotions as mechanisms in international relations, strategic choice by militant organizations, and text as data.
Prior to beginning my Ph.D., I worked on the Global Terrorism Database at the START Consortium at the University of Maryland, on communications and defense research at the Project On Government Oversight, and in coffee and wine sales. I hold an MA in political science from UW–Madison and bachelor’s degrees in international relations and modern languages (summa cum laude, with honors) from Knox College.
I tweet frequently about terrorism, feminism, and academia @annameierPS.