Dr. Jeffrey M. Bale has been studying violence-prone political and religious extremists for over four decades and has published many scholarly studies on terrorism, right-wing extremism, Islamism, apocalyptic millenarian groups and cults, potential CBRN use by terrorists and states, and covert political operations. He reads numerous foreign languages, has carried out specialized archival research in the United States as well as in several European countries, has personally interviewed extremists from several political and religious milieus, and has accumulated an extensive collection of primary source materials related to both extremist and terrorist groups and covert politics. His main focus in recent decades has been on various aspects of terrorist ideologies, motivations, and operational techniques.

Over the years Bale has been awarded a number of prestigious doctoral and postdoctoral research fellowships. He recently published a two-volume collection comprising many of his published and unpublished scholarly works, The Darkest Sides of Politics (Routledge). Peer reviewers have described him as “a remarkable scholar,” “the world’s leading expert on right-wing terrorism,” someone whose “qualifications for the study of terrorism…are unmatched,” and an expert with an unparalleled “depth and breadth of knowledge of extremist ideologies.” Since 9/11, he has often served as a consulting Subject Matter Expert (SME) for government agencies as well as private organizations on matters related to terrorism and ideological extremism.

Areas of Interest

Bale’s areas of interest include terrorism, political and religious extremism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, intelligence and covert operations, conspiracy theories, comparative revolutionary movements, rock ’n’ roll-oriented youth subcultures and countercultures, terrorism and “weapons of mass destruction,” organized crime, European history and politics, Middle Eastern history and politics, Islamic history, military history, international politics, and political philosophy.

Bale teaches the introductory lecture course on terrorism that is required for all students in the Institute’s Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program, a wide array of advanced seminars dealing with particular types of violent ideological extremism, and also an advanced seminar on “State Terrorism.” 

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Late Modern European History, University of California at Berkeley
  • MA in Political Sociology and Social Movements, University of California at Berkeley
  • BA in Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Inner Asian History, University of Michigan

Professor Bale has been teaching at the Institute since 2002.


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