Social Science for Counterterrorism
Putting the Pieces Together
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The authors report on an aggressively interdisciplinary project to survey and integrate the scholarly social-science literature relevant to counterterrorism. They draw on literature from numerous disciplines, both qualitative and quantitative, and then use high-level conceptual models to pull the pieces together. In their monograph, they identify points of agreement and disagreement and point out instances in which disagreements merely reflect difference of research context or perspective. Priorities for further research are suggested and improved ways to frame questions for research and analysis are identified. The questions addressed relate to how terrorism arises, why some individuals become terrorists, how terrorists generate public support, how terrorist organizations make decisions, how terrorism declines, why individuals disengage, and how strategic communications can be more or less effective.
Table of Contents
The Economics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism: What Matters and Is Rational-Choice Theory Helpful?
Social-Science Foundations for Strategic Communications in the Global War on Terrorism
Cross-Cutting Observations and Some Implications for Policymakers
Research conducted by
The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
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