A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

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

Introducing the Special Issue on New Directions in Terrorism Research

Introducing the Special Issue on New Directions in Terrorism Research


Since the 2001 attacks by Al Qaeda against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that claimed over 3000 lives, public and scholarly interest in the causes and prevention of terrorism have increased. The United States and governments around the globe have increased their investments in the scientific study of terrorism and of policies designed to prevent terrorism or reduce its occurrence. Longtime terrorism scholars have been joined by academics from across the sciences and social sciences in their investigations of these important issues. As discussed in this issue, 90% of academic terrorism studies have been published after the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, one estimate is that a new terrorism book is now published every six hours (Silke, 2008). Criminology and criminal justice have not been immune to this trend. While terrorism clearly falls within the contours of crime (illegal violent acts) (Clarke & Newman, 2006), criminologists have, historically, tended to focus on investigating “regular” crime and left the study of terrorism, ideologically motivated violence, and extremist crime to specialists from other fields (usually political scientists or psychologists). Recently though, criminologists have begun paying more attention to the study of terrorism and there has been an increase in terrorism-related studies published in criminology and criminal justice journals. A growing number of journals have, in fact, published special issues focused on integrating criminology and terrorism-related issues such as applying quantitative methods (long used by criminologists) and criminology theories (designed to explain the etiology of “regular” crime) to terrorism-related questions (see for, e.g., Freilich & LaFree, 2015; LaFree, 2009; LaFree & Freilich, 2012).

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Freilich, Joshua D., Ashmini G. Kerodal and Michele Galietta. 2015. "Introducing the Special Issue on New Directions in Terrorism Research." International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice 39 (May): 277-279. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924036.2015.1044230

START Author(s): 
Joshua Freilich
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