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

Influencing Violent Extremist Organizations: Empirical Assessment Project


Influencing Violent Extremist Organizations: Empirical Assessment Project

Investigators: 

Project Details

Abstract: 

This project comprised two tasks designed to assess governmental attempts to influence violent extremist organizations (VEOs). In Task 1, researchers identified, collected, and organized the theoretical literature relevant to influencing VEOs, as well as assessed the degree to which specific hypotheses had received empirical support. Additionally, the research team created an interface through which the information could be easily assessed by a wide variety of users. In Task 2, researchers identified and analyzed 75 discrete governmental attempts to influence VEOs in 10 conflict contexts in order to determine the effectiveness of the influence operations and their unintended consequences.

Methodology: 

For Task 1, researchers surveyed experts to generate hypotheses relevant to influencing VEOs. The research team then generated micro-literature reviews, using a standard template. The information was then integrated into the IVEO Knowledge Matrix. For Task 2, researchers first identified conflict contexts which represented geographic diversity, a range of influence attempts, and diversity in the VEO landscape. Researchers then identified key influence operations within those contexts for further analysis. Subject matter experts then completed micro-case studies, using a common template. The research team then conducted cross-case analysis, based on the micro-case studies.

Timeframe

Project Period: 
April 2011 to June 2011

Keywords

Research Area: 
Counterterrorism
Regions: 
Global

News References