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

Worst of the bad: Violent white supremacist groups and lethality


This study uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) to examine a network of domestic white supremacist groups associated with one or more ideologically motivated homicides between 1990 and 2008. SNA has rarely been used to study domestic extremist and/or terrorist organizations. Prior research using SNA has focused on foreign individual members of terrorist networks like Al Qaeda. This project begins to fill gaps in the literature by analyzing whether group role/location within this white supremacist group network is associated with greater levels of lethality. We find that the network is decentralized but ideologically integrated. Groups centrally located in the network are associated with more deaths. The study provides a foundation for future research investigating the connection between network location and lethality, the evolution of dangerous networks over time, and lone-wolf ties to the larger white supremacist movement.

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Full Citation:

Caspi, David J., Joshua D. Freilich, Steven M. Chermak. 2012. "Worst of the bad: Violent white supremacist groups and lethality." Dynamics of Assymetric Conflict (May): 1-17. www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17467586.2012.679664

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