An exploration of risk and contextual factors linked to radicalisation in Australia

Ms Emma Belton1, Professor  Adrian Cherney1

1The University Of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

The Profiles of Individual Radicalisation in Australia (PIRA) dataset captures 122 different variables relating to background, demographic, group affiliation, and contextual information on individuals who have radicalised to violent extremism in Australia from 1985-2020. PIRA is modelled on the Profiles of Individual Radicalisation in the United States (PIRUS) dataset. Like PIRUS, PIRA draws on open source materials to identify and code for data on specific individuals identified as having radicalised to extremism. In this presentation we will introduce the PIRA dataset, outline its development and provide an overview of data relating to background characteristics and risk factors for radicalisation amongst the sample. Results of an analysis of key variables related to violent and non-violent extremists will be presented and associated risk factors and triggering events. Implications for criminological theory on radicalisation will be considered.


Emma Belton is a PhD candidate and Senior Research Assistant in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. Her research aims to improve understanding relating to the backgrounds and risk factors associated with individuals who have been convicted of a terrorist offence or identified as having radicalised to violent extremism. Her research draws on the Profiles of Individual Radicalisation in Australia (PIRA) dataset. She has also worked on several research projects examining the impact of countering violent extremism interventions, across community and custodial settings.


Dec 09 2021