Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Terrorism and political violence

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The Stagnation in Terrorism Research

Abstract

Despite over a decade of government funding and thousands of newcomers to the field of terrorist research, we are no closer to answering the simple question of “What leads a person to turn to political violence?” The state of stagnation with respect to this issue is partly due to the government strategy of funding research without sharing the necessary primary source information with academia, which has created an unbridgeable gap between academia and the intelligence community. This has led to an explosion of speculations with little empirical grounding in academia, which has the methodological skills but lacks data for a major breakthrough. Most of the advances in the field have come from historical archival research and analysis of a few field interviews. Nor has the intelligence community been able to achieve any breakthrough because of the structure and dynamic of this community and its lack of methodological rigor. This prevents creative analysis of terrorism protected from political concerns. The solution to this stagnation is to make non-sensitive data available to academia and to structure more effective discourse between the academic and intelligence communities in order to benefit from the complementary strengths in these two communities.

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If I Were You, I Wouldn’t Start From Here: Response to Marc Sageman’s “The Stagnation in Terrorism Research” Max Taylor 2014
Response to Marc Sageman’s “The Stagnation in Terrorism Research” Jessica Stern 2014
Comments on Marc Sageman’s Polemic “The Stagnation in Terrorism Research” Alex P. Schmid 2014

 

 

 

 

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