Julia Ebner is a researcher specialised in online radicalisation, cumulative extremism and terrorism prevention. The aim of her DPhil project at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology is to explore the impact of online echo chambers on identity fusion and radicalisation through an interdisciplinary lens, combining the concept of identity fusion and narrative research on identity. Building on existing research from the fields of cognitive anthropology, social psychology and communication studies, the goal is to analyse the role of shared dysphoria on identity fusion within extremist online communities across the ideological spectrum.
After completing a dual master’s degree in international relations and history at LSE and Peking University, Julia worked as a researcher for Quilliam and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue for four years. On the basis of her research on extremist movements and activities in the UK, Europe and North America, she advises parliamentary working groups, security 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. Her first book The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism (I.B. Tauris, 2017) received the 2018 Bruno Kreisky Award for the Political Book of the Year 2018 and was translated into several languages. Her second book Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists was published by Suhrkamp in September 2019; the original English edition will be released by Bloomsbury in February 2020.