Unconventional Weapons and Technology division announces upcoming CBRN Data Suite and Portal
START’s Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) division is announcing the creation of their new CBRN Data Suite and Portal, which will become accessible online in December.
START data featured in House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs report
Data from START’s Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team feature prominently in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs majority staff report entitled, "Report on the Importance of Peer Support in Preventing Domestic Violent Extremism,” released in October.
Researcher Spotlight: Sean Doody
Senior Researcher Sean Doody first discovered START in the spring of 2019, when he crossed paths with START’s Geospatial Research Unit (GRU) Director Marcus Boyd after being introduced to him by an alum of his doctoral program.
An Agenda for Addressing Bias in Conflict Data
Miller, Erin, Roudabeh Kishi, Clionadh Raleigh and Caitriona Dowd
With increased availability of disaggregated conflict event data for analysis, there are new and old concerns about bias. All data have biases, which we define as an inclination, prejudice, or directionality to information. In conflict data, there are often perceptions of damaging bias, and skepticism can emanate from several areas, including confidence in whether data collection procedures create systematic omissions, inflations, or misrepresentations. As curators and analysts of large, popular data projects, we are uniquely aware of biases that are present when collecting and using event data. We contend that it is necessary to advance an open and honest discussion about the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the data ecosystem – collectors, researchers, and those interpreting and applying findings – to thoughtfully and transparently reflect on those biases; use data in good faith; and acknowledge limitations. We therefore posit an agenda for data responsibility considering its collection and critical interpretation.
Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program
START has developed an undergraduate minor in Global Terrorism Studies, a cross-disciplinary program housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. The minor is designed to train the next generation of terrorism analysts, including students who plan to pursue graduate study related to terrorism as well as employment in the federal, state, local, non-profit, and/or private sectors. START accepts applications to the program from University of Maryland undergraduates once per calendar year, during the spring semester. Early Decision Applications are due by November 4, 2022 for Fall 2023.
START offers paid internships year round on a variety of research projects and teams. During the course of their internship, participants are exposed to the most up-to-date theories, methods and information related to the study of terrorism. They are versed in the critical questions tackled by homeland security practitioners, policy makers and researchers, and are mentored in a professional environment geared toward student success. The program is designed to prepare the next generation of homeland security scholars and practitioners through real-world research experience. Apply by November 6, 2022 for Spring 2023.
Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Security and Terrorism Studies
Prospective students can now apply for START’s fully online MPS in Security & Terrorism Studies. The program is appropriate for individuals interested in (and/or currently) working in fields related to intelligence analysis, national security analysis, or analysis of other relevant topic areas, and individuals interested in (and/or currently) conducting scholarly research on terrorism and security. Apply by January 6, 2023 for Spring 2023.
Political Violence Across Ideological Categories
11 a.m. ET November 3, Online
START Founding Director and current University of Maryland Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Chair Dr. Gary LaFree will provide a virtual talk on his recent co-authored article exploring differences in the use of political violence across different ideological categories both worldwide and in the United States, with research done using both the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) dataset.
Alternatives in Mobilization: Ethnicity, Religion, and Political Conflict
12 p.m. ET November 30, Online
University of Maryland Professor of Government and Politics Dr. Jóhanna Birnir will provide a virtual talk on her co-authored book, which explores why most identity conflicts in the world are between ethnic groups that share religion. This book helps illustrate a more accurate and improved picture of the ethnic and religious tapestry of the world and addresses an increasing need for a better understanding of how religion contributes to conflict.
Virtual Information Session: MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies & Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis (12/7)
6 p.m. ET December 7, Online
START's Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Security and Terrorism Studies prepares students to examine the complex social, political, economic, and psychological underpinnings of terrorist and security threats, while the Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis provides participants with advanced education on the causes, dynamics and impacts of international and domestic terrorism.
START IN THE NEWS
NPR: White House summit kicks off efforts to help communities address hate-fueled violence
START Director William Braniff is quoted in this article about the White House’s United We Stand Summit.
Maryland Today: At White House Summit, UMD terrorism expert urges greater focus on hate-driven violence
START Director William Braniff is featured in this article about his remarks at the White House’s United We Stand Summit.
USA Today: Donald Trump embraces QAnon again at North Carolina rally as ties to violence raise concern
This article about QAnon uses recent data on QAnon from the Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) portfolio.
Washington Post: Oath Keepers sedition trial could reveal new info about Jan. 6 plotting
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about the Oath Keepers sedition trial.
Time: What to know about the Oath Keepers' seditious conspiracy trial
Data from the Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team is cited in this article about the Oath Keepers’ seditious conspiracy trial.
Foreign Policy Research Institute: Mainstreaming extremism: The legacy of far-right violence from the past to the present
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about the rise of far-right extremism in the United States.
VICE News: American terror: The military’s problem with extremism in the ranks
This TV spot on extremists with military backgrounds uses data from the Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team.
NCT Magazine: Novichok terrorism: Prospect or fever dream
START researcher Markus Binder wrote this article about nerve gas attacks.
NPR: Domestic terrorism investigations and arrests shot up in 2021
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about domestic terrorism in 2021.
Washington Post: Attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband follows years of GOP demonizing her
START researcher Michael Jensen is quoted in this article about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
Mother Jones: Experts are seeing a wave of QAnon-linked crimes. The attack on Pelosi's husband might be the latest.
Data from the Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team is used in this article about QAnon.
NPR: Domestic terrorism cases doubled in the past year. It could threaten midterms
START researcher Michael Jensen is interviewed in this radio spot on the increase in domestic terrorism.
This is a selection of news clips from the past month.
A complete list of START’s media coverage can be found here.
Help Support START Research and Education
The START Consortium is dedicated to generating knowledge of the human causes and consequences of terrorism. Applying rigorous standards to both research and education, START seeks to illuminate one of the most highly politicized and understudied phenomena in the social sciences for students, practitioners and policy-makers. Funded primarily through research grants to date, START is seeking to generate an endowment that will provide the flexibility and autonomy to ensure that it can continue to serve as an objective source of data and empirically based analysis into the future. To donate, or for more information, please click here.
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