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Sometimes they mean what they say: understanding violence among domestic extremists


Dynamics of Asymmetric ConflictJournal abstract

This project aims at predictors of violence among domestic extremist organizations, which historically have received sparse investigative attention, especially in regard to violent rhetoric. The United States is host to hundreds of such organizations, the majority of which are non-violent, and despite there being designation organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law centre, as well as a rich qualitative literature detailing group operational dynamics, the question of what variables influence the use of violence by these groups as a whole has yet to be taken up in detail. This paper utilizes data gathered on all designated extremist groups currently operating in New York State which is coded using variables drawn from “Minorities at Risk Operational Behavior” (MAROB). While the goal is eventually to gather data on the entire US, exploratory analysis of the New York data indicates that violent rhetoric has the most significant impact on group violence, while the impact of ideological variables highlighted by existing literature are minimal.

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