Kim Cragin

Photo of Kim Cragin
Senior Political Scientist
Washington Office


Ph.D., University of Cambridge; M.P.P., Duke University; B.A. in history, Oklahoma Baptist University

Media Resources

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R. Kim Cragin is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and has taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. She focuses on terrorism-related issues. In the spring of 2008, Cragin spent three months on General Petraeus' (ret.) staff in Baghdad. In addition to Iraq, she has conducted fieldwork in Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, northwest China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka, among others. She completed an exploratory analysis of why individuals do not become terrorists, which focused on residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Her other RAND publications include Disrupting Global Transit Hubs (2013), Social Science for Counter-Terrorism (2010) and Sharing the Dragon's Teeth (2007). Cragin also has published academic articles outside of RAND, including "Resisting Violent Extremism" in the reviewed journal Terrorism and Political Violence (2013), "al-Qa'ida Confronts Hamas" in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (2009), and "The Early History of al-Qa'ida" in the Historical Journal (2008). Her book entitled Women as Terrorists: Mothers, Recruiters, and Martyrs was released by Praeger in 2009. Before coming to RAND, Cragin attended the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University. She completed her Ph.D. at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Research Focus

Selected Publications

Cragin, Kim, "Semi-Proxy Wars and US Counterterrorism Strategy," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 38(5), 2015

Cragin, Kim, "A Recent History of al-Qa'ida," The Historical Journal, 27(3), 2014

Cragin, Kim, "Resisting Violent Extremism: A Conceptual Model for Non-Radicalization," Terrorism and Political Violence, 2013

Cragin, Kim, "Al-Qa'ida Confronts Hamas: Divisions in the Sunni-Jihadist Movement and its Implications for US Policy," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 32(7), 2009

Cragin, Kim and Sara Daly, Women as Terrorists: Mothers, Recruiters and Martyrs, NY: Praegar, 2009

Cragin, Kim, "The Early History of al-Qa'ida,," The Historical Journal, 51(4), 2008

Cragin, Kim, "Learning to Survive: The Case of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), in James Forrest (ed)," Teaching Terror, 2005


  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism February 19, 2015

    Tackling Radicalization Before It Begins

    Why not turn the question of violent extremism inside out and develop programs that reinforce non-radicalization? That is, rather than eliminating drivers, focus instead on strengthening the factors that inhibit violent extremism.

    Feb 23, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Proven Strategies vs. Terror

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Sep 12, 2002 New York Daily News