May 8, 2009
Human and Social Forces in the Spread of the IED Threat: Innovation, Diffusion and Adaptation
In November 2008, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) convened a workshop entitled “Human and Social Forces in the Spread of the IED Threat: Innovation, Diffusion and Adaptation.” The objectives of the workshop were to explore certain aspects of the social and behavioral elements of the threat of terrorists using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), specifically those aspects related to the evolution and spread of IED usage, and to set the stage for future research in this area. The workshop highlighted the need for establishing the basic intellectual groundwork for further research in this area, including producing rigorous and collaborative definitions of IEDs and their social context, collecting, coding and consolidating appropriate data streams, and borrowing theoretical models from a variety of related topic areas (such as business innovation). Participants synthesized existing research relevant to the problem and mapped the spectrum of knowledge lacunae in this area. They also supplied an extensive list of suggested research topics to address these gaps and produced a preliminary agenda for moving forward. This report provides an overview of the workshop proceedings, as well as describing the topics discussed and recommendations offered for future activities.
See full report here.