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Malevolent Innovation: Novelty and Effectiveness in Terror Attacks


The authors state that terrorism provides a model context for examining creativity, as the need for survival and innovation pervades these destructive and malevolent groups. Despite this, creativity and innovation remain underdeveloped concepts in terrorism research. One reason for this is the limited empirical data about this phenomenon, making it unclear which tenets of creativity research hold versus which do not translate in the domain of terrorism. The present effort overcomes this by examining the dimensions of malevolent innovation in a large sample of terrorist attacks. To anticipate adversary threats, it is critical that we examine all of the possible combinations of VEO innovation developed in the past. This particular effort can provide planners with exemplars of the highest levels of VEO innovation across a large dataset of violent extremist organizations, providing a comprehensive look at what is possible and what should be prevented.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Ligon, Gina and Michael Logan. 2019. "Malevolent Innovation: Novelty and Effectiveness in Terror Attacks." On the Horizon: Security Challenges at the Nexus of State and Non-State Actors and Emerging/Disruptive Technologies (April). https://nsiteam.com/on-the-horizon-security-challenges-at-the-nexus-of-state-and-non-state-actors-and-emerging-disruptive-technologies/

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