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

The Growing Importance of Criminology in the Study of Terrorism


Criminologists have been making important contributions to the research literature on terrorism and responses to terrorism for many years and two past presidents of the American Society of Criminology, Nicholas Kittrie and Austin Turk, explicitly built terrorism into their research on political crime in the 1970s and 1980s. However, much of this early work was done without federal support. It took two key events, the Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995 and the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania before major federal funding became available for criminologists to embark on large scale empirical work on this phenomenon. After these events, funding through the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, terrorism research solicitations by the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Administration and eventually, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) opened the door for an expanded portfolio of criminology related research on terrorism. In this essay we summarize the work of two entities that have in recent years taken a lead in this endeavor: the Human Factors Division (HFD) of the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a DHS funded national Center of Excellence focused on social and behavioral science research on terrorism and its consequences

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Full Citation:

Rausch, Sharla, and Gary LaFree. 2007. "The Growing Importance of Criminology in the Study of Terrorism." The Criminologist 32 (November). https://www.asc41.com/wp-content/uploads/ASC-Criminologist-2007-11.pdf?…

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