The Minorities at Risk (MAR) project was founded in 1985 by Ted Robert Gurr, a leading scholar in the study of political violence. Since 2005, START provided funding for a series of related projects to enhance understanding of factors that lead some groups and organizations to choose violence, including terrorism, while others opt for non-violent tactics. Each project included data collection on both violent and nonviolent groups and organizations to address issues of selection bias that frequently mar studies of terrorism.
Related Projects (listed in chronological order):
- The Use of Violence by Ethnopolitical Organizations: The research team developed a framework and related dataset to examine differences between violent and nonviolent ethnopolitical organizations. Focused initially on the Middle East and North Africa, the Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) dataset provides information on the characteristics of ethnopolitical organizations most likely to employ violence and terrorism in the pursuit of their perceived grievances with local, national, or international authority structures.
- Turning to Terrorism: Ethnic, Religious, and Extremist Organizations: The research team expanded the MAROB dataset to include information from post-Communist states, in addition to updating data for the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, research partners affiliated with the Extremist Crime Database collected data on 60 white supremacist organizations (nonviolent and violent) within the United States using the MAROB coding framework
- The Social Determinants of Terrorist Organizations' Resilience in Latin America: The research team expanded the MAROB dataset to include a sample of ethnopolitical (primarily indigenous) organizations in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia
- The Ecology of Terrorist Organizations: Research thrust 3 of this project funded expansion of organizational data collection beyond ethnically based organizations to a sample of nonviolent and violent extremist organizations (ethnic, left-wing, right-wing, and religious) in Western Europe and the Middle East and North Africa using a modified and streamlined MAROB coding framework. The result was the Political Organizations Dataset (POD).
- Terrorist and Extremist Organizations Database (TEO): The Terrorist and Extremist Organization database (TEO) will merge the approaches of BAAD, PPT-US, POD, and MAROB in producing a global database on all terrorist organizations and on a sample of non-violent organizations in the Middle East. The resulting database will be structure by organizational year, such that data will be collected on each TEO organization for each year of its existence in order to capture the dynamic nature of organizational evolutions.
- One God for All? Fundamentalism and Group Radicalization: Researchers will collect data on the religious family, denomination/sect and level of fundamentalism for all ethnic groups in the All-Minorities at Risk (A-MAR) dataset and integrate that data with the Global Terrorism Dataset in order to assess the effects of religion on terrorism.