Terrorism research has become a field of increasing interest and importance over the last few decades. Since the events of 9/11, the number of publications in the field has increased exponentially. Despite the explosion in terrorism research, reviews of the literature have consistently bemoaned the dearth of empirical evidence (Silke 2001, 2007, 2009; Sageman 2014). Among the most prominent explanations given for the findings that as little as 3–5% of research is based on any form of empiricism, is the continued absence of definitional clarity and consensus. Scholars also refer to the lack of original data, and a tendency for terrorism research to reuse the same data sets many times over, as one of the primary limitations of the literature (Schuurman and Eijkman 2013). Such criticisms were summarized in Sageman’s (2014) infamous article on the ‘stagnation of terrorism research’.
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Other subfields include but are not limited to: counter-terrorism, counter/de-radicalization and disengagement (Dalgaard-Nielsen 2018; Windisch et al. 2017), lone-wolf terrorism (Spaaij and Hamm 2015), geography of terrorism (Farrell et al. 2019), cyber-terrorism (Ducol et al. 2016), and foreign fighters (Hegghammer 2010).
A description of the methods used in the included studies is provided below.
While most non-English studies are indexed in English, supplementary searches were also conducted in German and Dutch. General searches were also conducted on the Google scholar and search engine to try and identify grey literature.
Radical violence differed from justification of terrorism in that most studies referred to the use of illegal violence to cause political or social change, or the use of illegal violence and actions to protest government policies.
Not included in this table are socio-demographic factors that do not require descriptions, such as; age, gender, education, employment, socio-economic status, immigrant status, marital status, and criminal history.
Effect sizes for socio-economic status were found only for radical attitudes.
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Wolfowicz, M., Litmanovitz, Y., Weisburd, D., Hasisi, B. (2020). What Is the State of the Quantitative Literature on Risk Factors for Radicalization and Recruitment to Terrorism?. In: Weisburd, D., Savona, E.U., Hasisi, B., Calderoni, F. (eds) Understanding Recruitment to Organized Crime and Terrorism. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-36639-1_2
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