Jeffrey Kaplan, Ph.D. (On Leaves)

Comparative Humanities
School Of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


  • Ph.D. in History of Culture, University of Chicago, USA (1993).
  • M.A. in International Relations, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA (1989).
  • M.A. in TEFL/TESOL Linguistics, Colorado State Unviersity, USA (1981).
  • B.A. in History/Oriental Studies, Colorado State University, USA (1975).


Jeffrey Kaplan received his Ph.D. in the History of Culture from the University of Chicago in 1993. This was the beginning of a second career as for the previous two decades he had lived and taught English as a Second language in a number of countries throughout the world. Beginning in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he saw the democratization effort Karta 77 to Sofia, Bulgaria, in Eastern Europe. He then spent the next decade in the Middle East, South Asia and East Africa. He taught or lived for prolonged periods in the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Indonesia and India to name a few. In that time he saw the early stages of the Iranian Revolution, the first Palestinian Intifada and the Anya Naya conflict in the Sudan. Following the Intifada however, he decided to return to the United States to get his Ph. D. and to study on a deeper level the issues of religion, violence and revolution.

He obtained an M.A. in International Relations with a focus on Security Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1989. His University of Chicago Ph.D. followed in 1993. With Ph.D. in hand, he accepted a position at an Eskimo tribal college, Arctic Sivinmun Ilisagvik College (today simply Ilisagvik College) in Barrow, Alaska—the furthest northern point of human habitation in North America. While in Barrow, he was awarded two Guggenheims and a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Helsinki University where he stayed for two years. In Helsinki he organized and chaired the first international conference on New Religious Movements held in Finland and edited an anthology stemming from the conference, Beyond The Mainstream: The Emergence Of Religious Pluralism In Finland, Estonia And Russia. Also emerging from the conference was Ustva (Mist), the first organization of young new religious movement scholars in Finland.

Returning to the United States, he taught briefly at the University of Alaska Anchorage before accepting a position at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he stayed for more than a decade before the need to travel became again irresistible. Much of 2015 and all of 2016 was spent in Changchun, China at Jilin University, which gave him the opportunity to fulfill a lifetime’s goal of ascending the 432 steps to Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The following two years were spent at the King Fahd Security College in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Selected Publications

Since 1993, he has published 22 monographs and anthologies and more than 80 journal and anthology articles. Among his monographs are:

  • Russia and the World: A New Phase of the Cold War or a New World Order?, New York: Routledge, 2020.
  • Apocalypse, Revolution and Terrorism: From the Sicari to the American Revolt against the Modern World. Routledge, 2018.
  • Radical Religion and Violence: Theory and Case Studies. London: Routledge, 2015. This was a career retrospective and the first of the Routledge Distinguished Scholar series.
  • Terrorist Groups and the New Tribalism: Terrorism’s Fifth Wave. London: Routledge, January 2010.
  • Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right.  AltaMira Press, 2000.
  • The Emergence of an Euro-American Radical Right.  (Co-authored with Leonard Weinberg). Rutgers University Press, 1998.
  • Radical Religion in America:  Millenarian Movements From the Far Right to the Children of Noah.  Syracuse University Press, 1997.

Among his recent or most important articles are:

  • “More East Than West: The World Council of Churches at the Dawn of the Cold War,” Terrorism & Political Violence, (31:9 2019).
  • “Saudi Arabia,” Conflict in the Modern Middle East: An Encyclopedia of Civil War, evolutions, and Regime Change, Forthcoming 2019.
  • “Ibn Taymiyyah,” Conflict in the Modern Middle East: An Encyclopedia of Civil War, evolutions, and Regime Change, Forthcoming 2019.
  •  “Life During Wartime: Active Measures in the Microchip Era,” Hungarian Defense Review 145:1 (2017).
  • "Red Dawn Is Now: Race Vs. Nation and the American Election," Terrorism & Political Violence 29:3 (2017).
  • "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted: Premodern Religious Terrorism," Terrorism & Political Violence 29:4 (2017), 1-26.
  •  “The Islamic State and the New Tribalism,” Terrorism and Political Violence 28:1 (October/November 2015).
  •  “On Tribalism:  Auxiliaries, Affiliates, and Aspirational Political Violence.” Co-Written with Col. Christopher Costa, in Lone Wolves and Autonomous Cells. Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw, Special Issue of Terrorism and Political Violence 26:2 (January 2014).
  •  “The Fifth Wave: The New Tribalism?,” Terrorism and Political Violence 19:4 (Winter 2007).
  • “Islamophobia in America?: September 11 and Islamophobic Hate Crime,” Terrorism and Political Violence 18:1 (Winter 2006).
  • “Religious Violence in America,” in Benjamin D. Zablocki and Thomas L. Robbins, eds., Misunderstanding Cults (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001).
  • “Leaderless Resistance,” in David C. Rapoport, Inside Terrorist Organizations (London: Frank Cass, 2001).
  •  “Leaderless Resistance,” Terrorism and Political Violence 9:3 (Fall 1997).
  •  “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins,” Nova Religio 1:1 (Fall 1997).
  • “Absolute Rescue:  Absolutism, Defensive Action and the Resort to Force,” Terrorism and Political Violence 7:3 (Autumn 1995).
  • "Right Wing Violence in North America," Terrorism and Political Violence 7:1 (Spring 1995).
  • "The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology:  The Case of the 'Identity Christian' Church of Israel," Terrorism and Political Violence 5:1 (Spring 1993).
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