Since it began operations in 2005, START has supported more than 60 research projects designed to expand our knowledge of the social and behavioral aspects of terrorism. Roughly half of these were initiated in 2005, and half at the beginning of START’s second research cycle in 2008. As would be expected, the earlier set of research projects is the most mature, so it is the results of a selection of these projects that we showcase in the 2009 Research Review, START’s first such publication.
We begin exploring START’s research by highlighting nine of its research projects in what we hope readers will find to be accessible visualizations of often complex topics and methodologies. We selected from among START’s projects those that have already yielded concrete and policy-relevant findings, lent themselves well to visual representation and represented a diversity of START’s research themes. The presentation of these projects departs from the standard academic format; indeed, this reflects the primary purpose of the Review—to make START’s research accessible and interesting to an audience beyond traditional academia. The journey towards the creation of the Review covered unfamiliar (but always interesting) ground, yet we have come to believe that this practice is a valuable one for encouraging the incorporation of scientific research findings into real-world problem solving and decision making. At the same time, we realize that in order for the results of START’s research to be taken seriously, the science behind them must be transparent. Therefore, we provide hyperlinks for each of the projects described in the review, which will take readers either directly to more comprehensive descriptions of the research involved, or to a project page to which additional resources related to the project will be added as they become available.
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. 2009. "Research Review 2009." College Park, MD: START (August).