Daniel Koehler - Director
Daniel Koehler studied religion, political sciences and economics at Princeton University and Free University Berlin. After having finished the postgraduate program ‘Master of Peace and Security Studies’ at the University of Hamburg top of his class he specialized on topics such as terrorism, radicalization, and de-radicalization. He worked as a de-radicalization and family counselor in multiple programs and developed several methodological approaches to de-radicalization, especially family counselling programs around the world. He published numerous articles and chapters on the topic. In addition, he gave expert interviews for leading international news outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone Magazine, Associated Press, or the London Sunday Times. Daniel Koehler is also the co-founder of the first peer reviewed open access journal on de-radicalization, which he created together with the German Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies (GIRDS) in 2014.
Between June 2015 and July 2019, GIRDS Director Daniel Koehler was a Fellow of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.
In 2016 he was appointed to be the first court expert on de-radicalization in the United States of America at the District Court in Minneapolis. He has since then conducted risk assessment and de-radicalization evaluations of terrorist offenders in prison and trained expert personnel from various US Government agencies.
Since 2016 he also works with the Ministry of the Interior in Baden-Württemberg/Stuttgart to help coordinate the state wide prevention network against violent extremism and radicalization.
In July 2017 Daniel became a member of the Editorial Board of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague.
In November 2019 he was appointed as Research Fellow at the new Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at the “Center for University Excellence (CUE)” of the American University in Washington D.C.
Daniel is also an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI).
If you wish to contact Daniel Koehler for interviews or other requests please write a message to contact[at]girds.org.
- Koehler, D. (2021). From Traitor to Zealot: Exploring the Phenomenon of Side-Switching in Extremism and Terrorism. Cambridge University Press.
- Clubb, G.; Koehler, D.; Schewe, J.; O‘Connor, R. (2021). Selling De-Radicalisation: Understanding and Managing Media Framing. Routledge.
- Kruglanski, A.; Webber, D.; Koehler, D. (2019). The Radical’s Journey: How German Neo-Nazis Voyaged to the Edge and Back& (together with Arie Kruglanski and David Webber). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019
- Koehler, D. (2016). Understanding Deradicalization. Methods, Tools and Programs for Countering Violent Extremism. Oxon/New York: Routledge, 2016
- Koehler, D. (2016). Right-Wing Terrorism in the 21st Century. The National Socialist Underground and the History of Terror from the Far-Right in Germany. Oxon/New York: Routledge, 2016
Peer Reviewied Articles:
- Koehler, D., & Filipps, J. (2023). Strategies for resilience: results from a German pilot project to prevent far-right radicalisation within the police. In: Policing and Society, 1-15.
- Koehler, D., Cherney, A., & Templar, A. (2023). Truth or Dare? Exploring the Importance of Factual Accuracy in Different Deradicalization Counseling Approaches. In: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-21.
- Koehler, D. (2023). Siren calls of anti-government extremism: Far-right influences on the German anti-vax (‘Querdenken’) protest milieu through music. In: Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 1-22.
- Cherney, A., & Koehler, D. (2023). What Does Sustained Desistance from Violent Extremism Entail: A Proposed Theory of Change and Policy Implications. In: Terrorism and Political Violence, 1-16.
- Koehler, D., Clubb, G., Belanger, J., Becker, M. H., & Williams, M. J. (2023). Don’t Kill the Messenger: Perceived Credibility of Far-Right Former Extremists and Police Officers in P/CVE Communication. In: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, n/a(n/a), 1-20.
- Fiebig, V., & Koehler, D. (2022). Uncharted Territory: Towards an Evidence-Based Criminology of Sovereign Citizens Through a Systematic Literature Review. In: Perspectives on Terrorism, 16(6), 34-48.
- Koehler, D., Fiebig, V., & Jugl, I. (2022) From Gaming to Hating: Extreme-Right Ideological Indoctrination and Mobilization for Violence of Children on Online Gaming Platforms. In: Political Psychology, n/a(n/a).
- Koehler, D. (2022). From Superiority to Supremacy: Exploring the Vulnerability of Military and Police Special Forces to Extreme Right Radicalization. In: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 1-24.
- Koehler, D. (2022). When branding turns toxic: a theoretical framework for modern extreme-right brand networks. In: Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 1-19.
- Schewe, J., & Koehler, D. (2021). When Healing Turns to Activism: Formers and Family Members’ Motivation to Engage in P/CVE. In: Journal for Deradicalization, Fall(28), 141-182.
- Koehler, D. (2021): “The Fighting Made Me Feel Alive:” Women’s Motivations for Engaging in Left-wing Terrorism: A Thematic Analysis. In: Terrorism and Political Violence. Online first:
- Haugstvedt, H., & Koehler, D. (2021). Armed and Explosive? An Explorative Statistical Analysis of Extremist Radicalization Cases with Military Background. In: Terrorism and Political Violence.
- Koehler, D. (2021): Disengaging from Left-Wing Terrorism and Extremism: Field Experiences from Germany and Research Gaps. In: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.
- Koehler, D. (2020): Dying for the cause? The logic and function of ideologically motivated suicide, martyrdom, and self-sacrifice within the contemporary extreme right. In: Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression.
- Koehler, D. (2020). Fake it till you make it? Representation of Special Operations Forces capabilities in jihadist propaganda videos. In: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-18.
- Koehler, D. (2020). Violent Extremism, Mental Health and Substance Abuse among Adolescents: Towards a Trauma Psychological Perspective on Violent Radicalization and Deradicalization. In: The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
- Koehler, D. (2019). Switching Sides: Exploring Violent Extremist Intergroup Migration Across Hostile Ideologies. In: Political Psychology.
- Koehler, D. (2019). A Threat from Within? Exploring the Link between the Extreme Right and the Military. ICCT Policy Brief. International Centre for Counter-Terrorism The Hague.
- Koehler, D.; Fiebig, V. (2019). Knowing What to Do: Academic and Practitioner Understanding of How to Counter Violent Radicalization. In: Perspectives on Terrorism, 13(3), 44-62.
- Koehler, D. (2019). Violence and Terrorism from the Far-Right: Policy Options to Counter an Elusive Threat. ICCT Policy Brief. International Centre for Counter-Terrorism The Hague.
- Koehler, D. (2018). Recent Trends in German Right-Wing Violence and Terrorism: What are the Contextual Factors behind ‘Hive Terrorism’? In: Perspectives on Terrorism, 12(6), 72-88.
- Koehler, D.; Ehrt, T. (2018). Parents’ Associations, Support Group Interventions and Countering Violent Extremism: An Important Step Forward in Combating Violent Radicalization. In: International Annals of Criminology, 1-20.
- Koehler, D.; Popella, P. (2018). Mapping Far-right Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism Efforts in the West: Characteristics of Plots and Perpetrators for Future Threat Assessment. In: Terrorism and Political Violence.
- Koehler, D. (2017). How and why we should take deradicalization seriously. doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0095 In: nature human behaviour, 1, 0095. May 26, 2017.
- Koehler, D. (2015). Radical Group’s Social Pressure Towards Defectors: The Case of Right-Wing Extremist Groups. In: Perspectives on Terrorism (IX)6, 2015, pp. 36-50
- Koehler, D. (2015). Contrast Societies. Radical Social Movements and their relationships with their target societies. A theoretical model. In: Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 7(1), 2015, 18-37
- Koehler, D. (2014). German Right-Wing Terrorism in Historical Perspective. A First Quantitative Overview of the ‘Database on Terrorism in Germany (Right-Wing Extremism)’ – DTG rwx Project. In: Perspectives on Terrorism (2014), 8(5), 48-58.