Building on the evaluation of individual radicalization processes begun in START’s current NIJ-funded Empirical Assessment of Domestic Radicalization (EADR) project, the START research team will employ a multi-method, interdisciplinary approach to evaluating the equifinite and multifinite processes by which individuals move away from extremist beliefs, behaviors and associations. While EADR examines the factors and trajectories towards the adoption of extremist beliefs and behavior, Empirical Assessment of Domestic Disengagement and Deradicalization (EAD3) will examine processes of individual exit from extremism and the effect of interventions by the criminal justice system, non-governmental organizations and less formal community groups on these processes. This interdisciplinary and multi-method project will provide an empirical baseline to inform U.S. CVE policies and programs at the community level.
To address the theoretical and empirical limitations in our current understanding of deradicalization and disengagement detailed above, the EAD3 project adopts an interdisciplinary, multi-method approach. First, the team will add exiting variables to the PIRUS database to allow large-n statistical analysis. Second, the team will conduct a series of semi-structured, life history interviews with former extremists to allow deep, context-laden analysis. These components will then be integrated to produce an assessment of common exiting patterns, triggers and mechanisms that can inform the development of CVE interventions tailored to the domestic context.