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Definitions Favorable to Terrorism? SSSL and radicalization: A case study Approach

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2019
35 pages

Although social structure and social learning (SSSL) theory has oft been proposed as a general theory of crime, it has rarely been applied to that which qualifies as ideologically-motivated, so we seek to rectify this notable gap in the research by examining the suitability of an SSSL framework to radicalization, an understudied yet vital process to enacting evidence-based counterterrorism efforts.



Utilizing a “most likely” case study approach, we find several themes consistent with SSSL principles, primarily within its social learning constructs. We conclude that SSSL does indeed offer promise for explaining all forms of crime including acts of terrorism. (Publisher Abstract)


Date Published: February 1, 2019