Michael S. Waltman

Michael S. Waltman is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is also a Mosier Fellow in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and a Fellow with the Faculty Engaged Scholars Program of the Carolina Center for Public Service. He earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University, his M.A. from the University of Kentucky and his B.S.E. from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Waltman’s research addresses the role that hate speech plays in the service of a variety of social and persuasive goals. Specifically, his work addresses the role of hate speech in the radicalization and recruitment of individuals into hate groups (e.g., Neo-Nazis, racist Neo-Pagans, and Christian Identity adherents) and the grooming of individuals to commit hate crimes and acts of ethno-violence. His work also addresses the role of hate speech in politician’s and media pundit’s attempts to advance their ideological agendas, win political victories, and consolidate power. Dr. Waltman’s current interests deal with how White Nationalist and jihadist efforts converge in their discourse. This has significant policy implications for how the groups should be treated by law enforcement and legislators responsible for developing policy and budgets to address the threat they pose to public safety. He is the author of several books including Hate on the Right: Right Wing Political Groups and Hate Speech (New York: Peter Lang Publishers), Teaching Hate: The Role of Visual Imagery in the Radicalization of White Ethno-Terrorists in the United States and The Communication of Hate (New York: Peter Lang Publishers) (with John Haas). His work has also appeared in Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment (Carol K. Winkler and Cori E. Dauber Eds.) as well as in Understanding Hate Speech: The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication (with Ashley Mattheis.)