Michael BarkunMichael Barkun (born 8 April 1938) is an American academic who serves as Professor Emeritus of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, specializing in political and religious extremism and the relationship between religion and violence. He has authored a number of books on the subject, including ''Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement'' (1996), ''A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America'' (2003), and ''Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11'' (2011).
Barkun has acted as a consultant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; as a member of the Special Advisory Commission to the FBI Critical Incident Response Group from late 1995 to early 1996, he provided training and background presentations on extremist groups. He serves on the editorial boards of ''Terrorism and Political Violence'' and ''Nova Religio'', and was the editor of ''Communal Societies'' from 1987 to 1994. He edits the Religion and Politics book series for the Syracuse University Press. He won the 2003 Distinguished Scholar award from the Communal Studies Association, and the Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights for his book ''Religion and the Racist Right''.
Barkun focuses particularly on millenarian and utopian movements, terrorism and "doomsday weapons", and the contemporary influence of the ''Protocols of the Elders of Zion'' decades after it was exposed as a hoax. His books have been reviewed by ''The New York Times'', ''The New York Sun'', ''The Montana Professor'', and ''Terrorism and Political Violence''. In a 2004 review, historian Paul S. Boyer wrote that Barkun "knows his way around the arcane world of contemporary conspiracy theorists" more "than any other scholar in America." Provided by Wikipedia