How can the literature inform counter-terrorism practice? Recent advances and remaining challenges

Sarah Knight, David A. Keatley

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Abstract

In 2014 an intense debate over the state of terrorism literature was published. Sageman [2014. The stagnation in terrorism research. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(4), 565–580. doi:10.1080/09546553.2014.895649] claimed that the field had stagnated, mainly due to lack of data sharing between government departments that have access to valuable information that could inform our understanding, and researchers who have the skills and expertise to make sense of this. However, others were more positive regarding the literature, highlighting areas where progress has been made [e.g. McCauley, & Moskalenko (2014). Some things We think We've learned since 9/11: A commentary on Marc Sageman's ‘The stagnation in terrorism research'. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(4), 601–606. doi:10.1080/09546553.2014.895653; Stern (2014). Response to Marc Sageman's ‘The stagnation in terrorism research'. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(4), 607–613. doi:10.1080/09546553.2014.895654; Taylor (2014). If I were you, I wouldn't start from here: Response to Marc Sageman's The stagnation in terrorism research’. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(4), 581–586. doi:10.1080/09546553.2014.895650]. Here we re-visit the literature and identify advances that have been made since 2014. We explore ongoing challenges for terrorism researchers and practitioners, and options for ways forward to ensure evidence-based responses to terrorist individuals and groups.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression
Early online date25 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 25 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • terrorism
  • data
  • definitionsss
  • methods
  • challenges

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