The Impact of the Islamic State on Terrorism Research

Wed, 17 June, 2020 2:00pm - 3:30pm
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Six years ago, the Islamic State captured the city of Mosul in Iraq and declared its so-called caliphate. The rise of the Islamic State was accompanied by a massive spike of interest among the public and the policymaking community and led to a boon for terrorism research. This phenomenon was coupled with an almost unprecedented access to primary source materials, thanks largely to the ubiquity of the group and their supporters on the Internet operating in a multitude of languages. However, access has not always been evenly distributed, and the low barrier to entry into the study of terrorism has sometimes jeopardized ethical standards and the quality of research.

The Program on Extremism hosted an online panel on June 17, 2020,  featuring a discussion on how terrorism-related scholarship has developed since the advent of the Islamic State's 'caliphate' and considerations to help guide the research field going forward. The panelists discussed a number of issues related to research quality, research ethics, and inclusivity across the field. They also recommended a number of steps for researchers to address these issues, from increased collaboration to greater implementation of approaches from existing disciplines like psychology to drawing context and insights from local academics and other local voices. 

The discussion was moderated by Program on Extremism Senior Research Fellow Haroro J. Ingram and featured:

  • Bart Schuurman, Researcher at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University
  • Gina Scott Ligon, Director of the NCITE DHS Center of Excellence and Associate Professor of Management and Collaboration Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Omar Mohammed, Founder of Mosul Eye and Program on Extremism Fellow

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