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Social Science for Counterterrorism

A book published by RAND, 2009.
To access and download, pls click Social Science for Counterterrorism.

The authors report on an aggressively interdisciplinary project to survey and integrate the scholarly social-science literature relevant to counterterrorism. They draw on literature from numerous disciplines, both qualitative and quantitative, and then use high-level conceptual models to pull the pieces together. In their monograph, they identify points of agreement and disagreement and point out instances in which disagreements merely reflect difference of research context or perspective. Priorities for further research are suggested and improved ways to frame questions for research and analysis are identified. The questions addressed relate to how terrorism arises, why some individuals become terrorists, how terrorists generate public support, how terrorist organizations make decisions, how terrorism declines, why individuals disengage, and how strategic communications can be more or less effective.


Chapter One:
Paul K. Davis and Kim Cragin

Chapter Two:
The Root Causes of Terrorism
Darcy M.E. Noricks

Chapter Three:
Why and How Some People Become Terrorists
Todd C. Helmus

Chapter Four:
How Do Terrorists Generate and Maintain Support?
Christopher Paul

Chapter Five:
The Economics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism: What Matters and Is Rational-Choice Theory Helpful?
Claude Berrebi

Chapter Six:
Organizational Decisionmaking by Terrorist Groups
Brian A. Jackson

Chapter Seven:
How Does Terrorism End?
Gaga Gvineria

Chapter Eight:
Disengagement and Deradicalization: Processes and Programs
Darcy M.E. Noricks

Chapter Nine:
Social-Science Foundations for Strategic Communications in the Global War on Terrorism
Michael Egner

Chapter Ten:
Cross-Cutting Observations and Some Implications for Policymakers
Kim Cragin

Chapter Eleven:
Representing Social-Science Knowledge Analytically
Paul K. Davis

Chapter Twelve:
Paul K. Davis and Kim Cragin

Appendix A:
About the Authors

Appendix B:
Analytic Measures for Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency
Benjamin Bahney


About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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