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Lone Wolf Terrorism Through a Gendered Lens: Men Turning Violent or Violent Men Behaving Violently?

Abstract

Lone wolf terrorists, who use bombs, firearms, knives, vehicles, biological weapons, or other means to kill and injure, sometimes inflicting mass casualties, are of increasing concern to governments, police, and security forces in Western countries around the globe. This article seeks to develop a more multi-dimensional framework for understanding these actors and the attacks they perpetrate by bringing the under-examined aspect of gender to the fore. The article contributes to the body of literature on lone wolf terrorism by centering gender as a means of analyzing this phenomenon. In particular, it looks to the current criminological scholarship on lone wolf terrorism, highlighting the lack of a developed gendered analysis. The article challenges misrepresentations of male violence against women in response to and in representations of lone wolf terrorists. It argues that the proliferation of these misunderstandings in policy, practice, and scholarship undermines efforts to understand and combat effectively lone wolf terrorism.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In the cases of the latter, see, inter alia, Walklate and Mythen (2015) and McCulloch and Wilson (2016), and, in the case of the former, see Jenkins (2011), Schuurman and co-authors (2018), and Pantucci and co-authors (2015: 3), who suggest “that there is no consistent definition of lone-actor terrorism.”

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Correspondence to Jasmine McGowan.

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McCulloch, J., Walklate, S., Maher, J. et al. Lone Wolf Terrorism Through a Gendered Lens: Men Turning Violent or Violent Men Behaving Violently?. Crit Crim 27, 437–450 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-019-09457-5

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