|The mission of the Roots of Terrorism Initiative
is to conduct innovative, policy-orientated research into terrorism. The
initiative began in 2002 as a joint venture of the
Research Center for
Group Dynamics (RCGD) and the Center for Political Studies (CPS) at the
University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR).
include researchers from the fields of psychology, political science,
sociology, and anthropology.
The Roots of Terrorism Initiative seeks to advance research into terrorism
through two principal means. First, the group has developed several
research projects to explore topics including the causes of popular
support for terrorism, the dynamics of recruitment vulnerability, the
causes of compromise and aggression in politically violent contexts, and
the developmental consequences of youth exposure to political violence.
This research draws on expertise in survey and experimental methodologies
at the ISR to increase our theoretical understanding of the complex causes
of terrorism as well as to provide policy-orientated recommendations
regarding how we might best address the causes of terrorism and reduce its
Second, the Initiative organizes
aimed at bringing together scholars from the University of Michigan
community and beyond to discuss research and to develop
multidisciplinary approaches to issues relating to terrorism. For
example, in March 2004, we organized a
colloquium on the
strategic importance, causes and consequences of terrorism at which
researchers affiliated with a wide range of University of Michigan
schools and departments presented their research. In addition, we helped organize a
NATO conference on
Suicide Terrorism held in Lisbon, Portugal, in mid-June, 2004.