Simi partners with researchers from Research Triangle Institute and University of Maryland for NIJ grants
Professor Pete Simi, Professor Gina Ligon (UNO College of Business), and Professor John Paul Sayer (University of Maryland) were recently awarded research funding from the National Institute of Justice for their study Empirical Assessment of Domestic Disengagement and Deradicalization (EAD3). The amount of the award was $620,000, which will be disbursed over a three year duration of the project. A brief description of the study can be found below.
This study involves systematically mapping individual pathways of change away from violent extremism with a special focus on motivation, process and trajectories. More specifically, this study will address a range of research questions including some of the following: (1) Are changes in belief, behavior and socialization related to each other?; (2) How prevalent is the pathway where individuals desist from extremist behaviors but remain involved in non-extremist criminal activities or radical social networks?; and (3) What are the individual factors and processes that lead to recidivism and reradicalization and how do they differ from initial radicalization motivations? To examine these questions we rely on a multi-method design including adding exiting variables to the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) database to allow large-sample statistical analysis. Second, the team will also conduct a series of semi-structured, life history interviews with former right-wing, left-wing, and jihadi extremists to allow deep, context-laden analysis. Our focus on how and when individuals leave an extremist lifestyle raises important issues in terms of policy and theory. Assessing the processes of disengagement and deradicalization from violent extremism is essential to develop effective strategies and programs promoting exit from extremism.
Professor Pete Simi, Matthew DeMichele (Research Triangle Institute), Kellie Barrick(Research Triangle Institute), and Professor Kathleen Blee (University of Pittsburgh) were recently awarded funding from the National Institute of Justice for their study Research and Evaluation on Domestic Radicalization to Violent Extremism: Research to Support Exit USA. The amount of the award was $700,801, which will be disbursed over a three year duration of the project. A brief description of the study can be found below.
There is little research concerning the development of community partnerships to facilitate the deradicalization of violent extremists in the U.S. This gap in research is surprising because simultaneous to the growth in foreign terrorist groups there has been an increase in violent right-wing radical groups within the U.S. The proposed study will address this gap by providing a more comprehensive and extensive understanding of deradicalization processes among domestic violent extremists to inform community level prevention and intervention strategies. The study will include 52 former right-wing extremists and will leverage partnerships with Life After Hate (LAH)/EXIT USA, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to study the onset, persistence, and desistance from extremism. The researchers will use a respondent-driven sampling approach to recruit up to 52 former right-wing extremists and conduct in-depth face-to-face interviews. The interview data will be coded using pre-determined themes as well as mined for emergent themes using the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) within the Python programming platform. Network text analyses will be used to graph the relationships among cases and identify types of deradicalization in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between individual-level factors (e.g., identity work, motivations) and structural forces (e.g., community and criminal justice organizations, barriers) with disengagement and deradicalization.
Story published 09/2014