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Title: Youth violence : an alternative explanation for homegrown terrorism
Authors: Floyd, Kathryn H.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Criminology
DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Terrorism
DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Social psychology
Issue Date: 2017
Source: Floyd, K. H. (2017). Youth violence : an alternative explanation for homegrown terrorism. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This thesis asks if the processes of radicalization prior to violence can be better explained, especially with respect to the early years of childhood and adolescence, and examines two cases of homegrown terrorism and one gang (control) case from Northern Virginia. This thesis asks: 1. How distinct are radicalization identifiers from youth violence identifiers? 2. Can better early warning signs for radicalization possibly be identified, starting with examples from Northern Virginia? I argue the warning signs for radicalization are not so different than those for juvenile delinquency, and that radicalization research does not take sufficient account of delinquency factors or have sufficient data on these early childhood and adolescence processes. In this plausibility probe, I hypothesize: 1. Homegrown terrorism is better understood as simply terrorism, which is better understood as a subtype of youth violence rather than a distinct type of violence. 2. Youth violence variables have better explanatory powers than terrorism variables in identifying radicalization, in three case studies. An iterative sequential mixed methods design tested these hypotheses using: quan, QUAL1, and QUAL2. Using the 2011 and 2012 Fairfax County Youth Survey Reports, statistical analysis (quan) on non-risky and risky behaviors linked to delinquent behaviors created an initial list of independent variables. Second, a systematic review of terrorism or radicalization, youth violence, and gang studies (QUAL1) identified a list of independent variables irrespective of geography or ideology. Comparing terrorism and youth violence studies, very few of the variables were distinct, supporting the hypothesis that homegrown terrorism is better theoretically and practically understood as terrorism, which is better understood as a subtype of youth violence. quan and QUAL1 variables created one matrix of 516 variables and were given a typology using Social Disintegration Theory (SDT). Case studies (QUAL2) of two homegrown terrorists (one foreign born and one native born) and one gang member (control) from Northern Virginia applied this matrix in a modified Lakatosian comparison. The findings demonstrate that, in these three cases, risky and non-risky behaviors can be identified well before the point of radicalization and that variables from youth violence theories have greater explanatory power than variables from terrorism studies. These findings may, however, be specific to certain people or groups operating in Northern Virginia, or under similar circumstances. Lastly, while youth violence variables provide a superior explanation for radicalization, these could also be used alongside terrorism variables to prevent radicalization or to provide an opportunity for intervention.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/70935
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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