Book Launch: Rethinking Social Media and Extremism

You are invited to attend the launch of the new 'Australia & the World' Book Series with ANU Press.

Our first book in the series, 'Rethinking Social Media and Extremism'  (edited by Professor Shirley Leitch and Professor Paul Pickering), will be launched on the evening by ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt AC.

The book includes 9 interdisciplinary chapters from various ANU scholars offering a broad range of perspectives on violent extremism online and how to stop it. Contributing authors include Prof Sally Wheeler OBE, Prof Shirley Leitch, Prof Paul Pickering, Robert Fleet, Dr Andrew Hughes, Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza, Prof Mark Nolan, Prof Mark Kenny, Dr Katrina Grant and Dr Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller.

RSVPs are essential - Drinks and canapes will be provided


Terrorism, global pandemics, climate change, wars and all the major threats of our age have been targets of online extremism. The same social media occupying the heartland of our social world leaves us vulnerable to cybercrime, electoral fraud and the ‘fake news’ fuelling the rise of far-right violence and hate speech. In the face of widespread calls for action, governments struggle to reform legal and regulatory frameworks designed for an analogue age. And what of our rights as citizens? As politicians and lawyers run to catch up to the future as it disappears over the horizon, who guarantees our right to free speech, to free and fair elections, to play video games, to surf the Net, to believe ‘fake news’?

Rethinking Social Media and Extremism offers a broad range of perspectives on violent extremism online and how to stop it. As one major crisis follows another and a global pandemic accelerates our turn to digital technologies, attending to the issues raised in this book becomes ever more urgent. 


About Editors

Professor Shirley Leitch is a Professorial Fellow at The Australian Studies Institute at The Australian National University. She was formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education & Global Education at ANU, and Dean at the ANU College of Business & Economics. In 2011, The Guardian named Professor Leitch one of the top 10 social media influencers in Australian higher education for her blog and Twitter posts from @ShirleyLeitch. She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and held more than $5 million in national competitive grants. She has undertaken senior advisory roles for government and industry and contributed to numerous government reviews.

Professor Paul Pickering is Director of the Australian Studies Institute (2017-) and a Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations, Research School of Social Sciences. Prior to taking up his current posts Paul has undertaken numerous roles at ANU, including Director of the Research School of Humanities and the Arts (2012-21), a term as Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences (2014-16), inaugural Director of the ANU Centre for European Studies (2010-12); Director of Graduate Studies (2004-9) and a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre (2000-4). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase by Harry Hartog on the evening or can be purchased or downloaded via the ANU Press website.

Updated:  13 July 2022/Responsible Officer:  Institute Manager/Page Contact:  Institute Manager