In the past four decades, there has been increased multidisciplinary scholarly interest in the study of charismatic authority. However, there has yet to be any systematic examination of charismatic authority in the context of terrorism, despite widespread acknowledgment of the importance of charismatic leaders in the recruitment, radicalization, and operation of terrorist groups. This article seeks to contribute to future empirical research by presenting a theoretical framework for measuring the presence of charismatic authority in terrorist groups that is based on Max Weber's seminal work on legitimate domination (herrschaft) and on theoretical insights drawn from the study of charismatic authority in new religious movements. The framework is then applied to an illustrative case study of the relationship between charismatic authority and the radicalization process within the far-right terrorist group “the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord.” The article concludes with a discussion of findings and suggestions for future research.
Quantifying and Qualifying Charisma: A Theoretical Framework for Measuring the Presence of Charismatic Authority in Terrorist Groups
24 June 2015
Measuring the Extent and Nature of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) among Former White Supremacists
Countering “foreign terrorist fighters”: a critical appraisal of the framework established by the UN security council resolutions
An Indigenous African Framework for Counterterrorism: Decolonising Kenya’s Approach to Countering “Al-Shabaab-ism”
Telling stories of terrorism: a framework for applying narrative approaches to the study of militant's self-accounts