Peter Simi

Associate Professor, Chapman University
Director, Earl Babbie Research Center
Chapman University
Office Address:

Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866


Pete Simi is Director of the Earl Babbie Research Center and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Chapman University. He has studied extremist groups and violence for the past 20 years, conducting interviews and observation with a range of violent gangs and political extremists. Dr. Simi is a member of the National Consortium in Studies of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) which is a university-based research center committed to the scientific study of the causes and consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, National Science Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense.

Simi is also co-author of an award-winning book manuscript, American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement’s Hidden Spaces of Hate and frequently serves as an expert legal consultant on criminal cases related to political extremism. He is currently working on a book manuscript under contract with the University of California Press that examines the domestic front in the “war on terror” tentatively titled: Sting: Inside the FBI’s Provocation of Terror.


  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Ph.D., Sociology, 2003
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, M.A., Sociology, 1999
  • Washington State University, B.A., Social Science, 1995

Lead Investigator on START Research Projects

Researcher on START Projects

Selected Publications

News References