The Challenges of Counterterrorism Research

Dr  Keiran Hardy1

1Griffith Criminology Institute, Mt Gravatt, Australia

Prevenng terrorism raises challenges compared to prevenng other types of crime. The polical and religious move underlying terrorism has required special legal responses, and governments connue to grapple with how to define terrorism, extremism and radicalisaon. Programs for countering violent extremism (CVE), including intervenon and deradicalisaon programs, remain underdeveloped and it is not clear how their effecveness should be measured. It is unclear whether broader community-based prevenon strategies can ever contribute to a reducon in the terrorist threat. Currently, many governments are seeking to adapt measures previously developed for Islamist extremism to account for the developing threat of right-wing extremism. Across all of these issues, accessing meaningful data sources remains difficult for terrorism researchers given the relavely low frequency of terrorist aacks and security concerns surrounding naonal security informaon. This paper addresses the challenges of conducng criminological research in counterterrorism, and considers how researchers might build stronger connecons with industry.


Dr Keiran Hardy is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Griffith Criminology Institute. He is currently undertaking a two-year research project on crime prevention and global approaches to countering violent extremism. He has published extensively on counter-terrorism law and policy and comments regularly for Australian media. His research interests include counter-terrorism law, countering violent extremism, radicalisation, intelligence whistleblowing and cyber-terrorism. He is the author of Law in Australian Society: An Introduction to Principles and Process (Allen & Unwin, 2019).


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