A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

New START Project to Focus on Extremist Violence in U.S. Counties


New START Project to Focus on Extremist Violence in U.S. Counties

June 10, 2011

This summer, START will be launching a new project designed to examine the characteristics of counties in the United States that experience the highest (and lowest) levels of extremist violence, including terrorism. A multidisciplinary research team comprised of faculty from the University of Maryland, as well as Bryn Mawr College, Dartmouth College, John Jay College (CUNY), Michigan State University, University at Albany (SUNY), University of Arkansas, and University of Oklahoma, will work together to specify the degree to which extremist violence has occurred in each of the 3143 counties in the United States.

The project will also identify the geographic areas from which perpetrators of extremist violence have come and where terrorist groups have based their operations. Building on past theoretical and empirical research, the Terrorism and Extremist Violence in U.S. Counties (TEVUS-C) project will explore how levels of extremist violence relate to other characteristics, including non-violent activities and rhetoric associated with extremist ideologies, the presence and integration of ethnic minorities, hate-crime activity, and general quality-of-life, as measured by consideration of economic well-being, community health, public trust, and robustness of civil society.

This research effort will generate new understandings about which types of geographic areas have experienced and given rise to violent extremism in the past, how those trends have shifted over time, and which counties might be vulnerable to violent radicalization in the future. The project is designed to be a three-year study, and is being supported by the Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Research Team: