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What Makes Them Do It? Individual-Level Indicators of Extremist Outcomes


The Handbook of the Criminology of TerrorismChapter summary

This chapter explores radicalization processes in the United States and the range of potential extremist outcomes. A basic analysis of the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) database, the largest open-source quantitative dataset on domestic radicalization, supports the general finding that radicalization is both equifinite and multifinite (i.e., multiple pathways can lead to the same extremist outcomes and the same pathways can lead to different extremist outcomes). Extremist outcomes are unpacked by differentiating between beliefs and behaviors; a significant finding is that these are only moderately correlated with each other. In addition, the PIRUS analysis highlights the strong relationship between extremists’ radicalization outcomes and their social networks, as well as the limits of this relationship.

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