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Returning to the Fight: What the Literature on Criminal Recidivism Can Contribute to our Understanding of Terrorist Recidivism

Recent, and welcome, interest in the subject of terrorist disengagement and deradicalization has revealed that the causes of terrorist recidivism are poorly understood. Studies of terrorist recidivism are virtually non-existent, which is surprising given that most critiques of terrorist de-radicalization programs are anchored in debates about the nature and extent of recidivism in the population of terrorist offenders. We seek to begin to redress this void in the literature by developing a series of theoretical, conceptual, and methodological starting points for thinking about terrorist recidivism that are closely informed by advances in criminology. While we find the definition of recidivism and its causes are often contested in the field of criminology, there are significant lessons that can inform the study of terrorist recidivism.

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Last Published Date: March 13, 2019
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