Anna Meier

Position title: Ph.D. Candidate: International Relations | Comparative Politics


Research Interests

Terrorism, Counterterrorism, Critical IR, Securitization, Right-Wing Extremism


Anna Meier (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D. candidate in political science and a fellow with the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She specializes in international security and critical terrorism studies, with a particular interest in how governments construct and label violent actors. Her dissertation research, using elite interviews with bureaucrats and policymakers in Germany and the U.S., develops a theory linking usage of the “terrorist” label to how government actors think about and reproduce power relations between groups in society, especially related to white supremacy. Her work has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Lawfare, The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, and Political Violence at a Glance. She is also a recognized leader in undergraduate education as a Future Faculty Partner with the UW–Madison Teaching Academy, the 2019–2020 department TA mentor, and a two-time nominee for campus-wide teaching awards.

Prior to coming to UW, Anna worked at the START Consortium at the University of Maryland, primarily on the Global Terrorism Database, and at the Project On Government Oversight in Washington, DC. She holds an MA in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2016) and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Knox College in 2013 with degrees in international relations and modern languages (German and French).

Anna is a 2019–2021 representative on the American Political Science Association’s Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession and the department representative for the Teaching Assistants’ Association, UW–Madison’s graduate labor union.


The Idea of Terror: A Critical Approach to Consequences of the “Terrorist” Classifier


Meier, Anna A. 2020. “The Idea of Terror: Institutional Reproduction in Government Responses to Political Violence.” International Studies Quarterly 64 (3): 499–509.


Genevieve Gorst Herfurth Award for Outstanding Research in the Social Sciences, 2021