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

START releases first Research Review

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has released its 2009 Research Review, the first in the series. START presents nine of its policy relevant projects in the review, as well as summaries of 23 other finished projects and a look into ongoing research within the Consortium. The review aims to present the results of START's research, both written and visually, in a manner that lends itself to the needs of a broad audience.

The projects featured in the 2009 Research Review were selected on the basis of their relevance to this audience and to demonstrate the wide range of topics covered by START researchers. Hyperlinks are provided for each topic in order to provide a more extensive look at the important methodologies and complexities behind the projects. These links lead to a project page on the START website that features a comprehensive description of the projects and updates to projects as they are made available. The nine featured research briefs in the 2009 Research Review include:

  • "Hearts and Minds: Surveys in Muslim-majority Countries Explore Opinions About Anti-U.S. Terrorism" - Steven Kull, Stephen Weber and Clark McCauley
  • "Underlying Motivations: The Roles of Uncertainty, Failure and Collectivism in Support for Violent Extremism"- Arie Kruglanski
  • "Mosaic of Minority Violence: Ethno-political Mobilization in the Middle East" - Jonathan Wilkenfeld, Amy Pate and Victor Asal
  • "Criminal Violence and Terrorism: Developing a Portrait of U.S. Far-Right Extremists' Involvement in Homicides"- Joshua D. Freilich and Steven Chermak
  • "A Magnet for Terrorism: Analyzing Terrorists' Decisions to Attack the United States" - Martha Crenshaw
  • "Toxic Connections: Terrorist Organizational Factors and the Pursuit of Unconventional Weapons" - Gary Ackerman, Victor Asal and R. Karl Rethemeyer
  • "Deterrence or Backlash?: The Impact of British Counterterrorism Strategies on Political Violence in Northern Ireland" - Gary LaFree, Laura Dugan and Raven Korte
  • "Public Preparedness for Terrorism: Findings from the National Survey of Disaster Experiences and Preparedness" - Linda Bourque, Dennis Mileti, Megumi Kano and Michele Wood
  • "Community Resilience: The Community Assessment of Resilience Tool (CART)" - Betty Pfefferbaum, Rose Pfefferbaum and Fran Norris

The visual representations of the project provide a descriptive and understandable overview of the relevant findings. An example is the tile mosaic of ethnic groups that supplements Wilkenfeld, Pate and Asal's Minority at Risk project. The mosaic clearly organizes ethnic organizations on a protest-violence continuum, and color-codes each to the broader ethnic group represented in the organization. This visualization helps audiences gain a larger understanding of the extent to which different organizations resort to violence, as well as factors that can be used to help predict the use of violence by an organization.

Each of the nine featured projects listed above benefit from such visualizations. START hopes this presentation of its research findings will benefit both policy makers and the general public in understanding the insights the Consortium has generated and is willing to offer into relevant and important policy issues.

The 2009 Research Review may be obtained by requesting a printed copy from infostart@start.umd.edu or is available in low-resolution form online here.

Read full press release here.