Mia Bloom

Mia Bloom, Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, Criminal Justice, Security Studies

HSSB 439


Suicide terrorism, women & terrorism, rape as a strategy of war and children & political violence

Research Interest

My main interests are in ethnic conflict and the larger phenomenon of political violence as it relates both to terrorism and the deliberate of targeting of civilians during conflict. I am especially interested in cycles of violence that demonstrate the intersection between victimhood and mobilization into violence.

My research investigate the deliberate use of rape during war as well as how terrorist organizations use rape to transform ordinary women into suicide bombers by raping them. Under the honor code in most cultures, the women will be killed by a family member for bringing shame to the family. This insidious practice has been used in Chechnya and Iraq. I am also conducting research on the targeted recruitment of children into terrorist organizations and understanding how better to prevent this in the future.

My work bridges both academic and policy relevant research. I research these topics and help international agencies formulate better practices to help women and children and any other groups at risk.

Educational Background

Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Russian and Middle East Studies from McGill University


Mia Mellissa Bloom is Professor of Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and the author of Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (NY: Columbia University Press 2005) and Living Together After Ethnic Killing edited with Roy Licklider (London: Routledge 2007) and Bombshell: Women and Terror (U Penn Press 2011). She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and has held research or teaching appointments at Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, and McGill Universities. Bloom has a PhD in political science from Columbia University, a Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelors from McGill University in Russian and Middle East Studies and speaks nine languages. She regularly appears on CNN, Fox News, CSPAN, and NBC Nightly News.

Selected Publications


  • Bloom, M. 2011. Bombshell: Women and Terrorism (U.S. Edition). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Bloom, M. 2011. Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists. Toronto: Penguin.
  • Bloom, M. and Licklider, R. 2007. Living Together After Ethnic Killing. UK: Routledge.
  • Bloom, M. 2005. Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. New York: Columbia University Press. Reprinted and updated in 2007.


  • Bloom, M., Gill, P. and Horgan, J. 2012. “Tiocfaidh ár Mná: Women in the Provisional Irish Republican Army.” Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 4(1):60-76.
  • Bloom, M. 2011. “Life Sciences and Islamic Suicide Terrorism” International Security January 2010/11 35(3):185-192.
  • Bloom, M. 2010. “Death Becomes Her: Women, Occupation, and Terrorist Mobilization.” PS: Political Science & Politics 43 (3):445–450.
  • Bloom, M. 2010. “Death Becomes Her: The Changing Role of Women and Terrorism.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.
  • Bloom, M. 2009. “Suicide Terror in South Asia: Response to Thomas Johnson.” Critical Studies on Terrorism, September.
  • Bloom, M. 2009. “Chasing Butterflies and Rainbows: A Critique of Kruglanski et al.’s ‘Fully Committed: Suicide Bombers’ Motivation and the Quest for Personal Significance.” Political Psychology 30 (3):387–395.
  • Bloom, M. and Horgan, J. 2008. “Missing their Mark: The IRA Proxy Bomb Campaign 1990.” Social Research: An International Quarterly of the Social Sciences. Special Issue: Martyrdom, Self-Sacrifice, and Self-Denial 75 (2):579–614.
  • Bloom, M. 2007. “Female Suicide Bombers: A Global Trend.” Dædalus, Winter.
  • Bloom, M. 2005. “Mother. Sister. Daughter. Bomber.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, November/December.
  • Bloom, M. and Licklider, R. 2005. “Living Together After Ethnic Killing: What’s all the Shouting About?” Special issue of Security Studies (Spring).
  • Bloom, M. 2004. “Palestinian Suicide Bombing: Public Support, Market Share and Outbidding.” Political Science Quarterly 119 (1):61–88.
  • Bloom, M. 2003. “Ethnic Conflict, State Terror and Suicide Bombing in Sri Lanka.” Civil Wars, Frank Cass, 6 (2):54–84.
  • Bloom, M. 2001. “Atrocities and Armed Conflict: State Consolidation in Israel 1948–1956.” Journal of Conflict, Security, and Development 3:55–78.

Book Chapters

  • Bloom, M. and Horgan, J. 2011. “Missing their Mark: The IRA’s Failed ‘Suicide Bomber’ Campaign of 1990.” In Making Sense of Proxy Wars, ed. Michael Innes. NY: Potomac Institute Press.
  • Bloom, M. 2010. “Are There ‘Root Causes’ for Terrorist Support? Revisiting the Debate on Poverty, Education and Terrorism.” In Terrorizing Ourselves: Why US Counter Terrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It, eds. B.H. Friedman, J. Harper, and C.A. Preble. Washington, DC: CATO Institute.
  • Bloom, M. 2008. “Female Suicide Bombers.” In Violence and Terrorism, ed. T.J. Badey. Boston: McGraw Hill.
  • Bloom, M. 2007. “Women as Victims and Victimizers.” In Countering the Terrorist Mentality, US Dept of State, June.
  • Bloom, M. 2006. “Devising a Theory of Suicide Terror.” In The Roots of Suicide Terrorism, ed. A. Pedazhur. London: Taylor and Francis.
  • Bloom, M. 2006. “Palestinian Suicide Bombing: Public Support, Market Share and Outbidding.” In Terrorism: Critical Concepts in Political Science, ed. D, Rapoport. UK: Routledge.
  • Bloom, M. 1999. “The Iraqi Genocide of the Kurds: A Discussion of the Iraqi Secret Police Files.” In Genocide: Essays Toward Understanding, Early-Warning, and Prevention, eds. H. Fein and R. Smith. Williamsburg, VA: Cummings and Hathaway Press.
  • Bloom, M. 1996. “Genocide and the Case of Iraq: The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds.” In Contemporary Genocide: Causes, Cases, Consequences, ed. A.J. Jongman, 79–94. Center for the Study of Social Conflicts (PIOOM), Leiden University, The Netherlands.