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Routine Activities and Right-Wing Extremists: An Empirical Comparison of the Victims of Ideologically Motivated and Non-Ideologically Motivated Homicides Committed by American Far-Rightists


Routine Activities and Right-Wing Extremists: An Empirical Comparison of the Victims of Ideologically Motivated and Non-Ideologically Motivated Homicides Committed by American Far-Rightists

Abstract: 

This study examines whether Criminology's Routine Activities Theory (RAT) and related Lifestyle Theory (LST) can account for variation between the attributes of victims of fatal ideologically motivated attacks (akin to terrorism) and the victims of non-ideologically motivated homicide incidents committed by far-Right extremists in the United States. This article makes four contributions. First, we empirically test Criminology theory in the context of terrorism by using routine activities to devise four core hypotheses to explain differences between the two types of victims. Second, our investigation uniquely includes a non-terrorist comparison group (i.e., victims of homicides committed by extremists for personal reasons like greed). Third, our study focuses on ideological victimization. Terrorism researchers have usually ignored victims because of the difficulty in accessing the necessary data. Finally, we also make a methodological contribution by showing that criminology can build upon the terrorism literature by utilizing open-sources. Using data from the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), the results of a multivariate analysis partially supported the hypotheses, showing that RAT and LST offer empirically supported theoretical constructs that have the ability to differentiate between ideological and non-ideological homicides.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Parkin, William S. and Joshua D. Freilich. 2015. "Routine Activities and Right-Wing Extremists: An Empirical Comparison of the Victims of Ideologically Motivated and Non-Ideologically Motivated Homicides Committed by American Far-Rightists." Terrorism and Political Violence (August): 1-37. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273332835_Routine_Activities_and_Right-Wing_Extremists_An_Empirical_Comparison_of_the_Victims_of_Ideologically-_and_Non-Ideologically-Motivated_Homicides_Committed_by_American_Far-Rightists

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