Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Jason Campbell

Second Advisor

Gregory Vecchi

Third Advisor

Neil Katz

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative case study was to address the problem of domestic terrorism facing the United States. This concern led to a comprehensive examination of historical documents that focused on the temporal evolution of the problem beginning with the Carter administration and continuing through the Obama administration. The conceptual foundation centered on resolving the research question and validating three hypotheses directed at qualifying the escalation of domestic incidents of terrorism. This led to developing a behavioral model to assist law enforcement agencies in combating the issue of domestic terrorism. Bivariate and clustering statistical analysis validated the data while qualifying the demographics of the various typologies of U.S. domestic terrorists. The use of case study analysis, which drew on historical documents for evidence, considered the evolution of various groups, motivations, their ideologies, and goals. These variables were compared to successes and failures of relevant federal policies. The lack of understanding and oversight that led to an escalation of the number of incidents was also evaluated. Using ethical and scientific guidelines and protocols, the study’s findings promote the need for future research and highlight the dangers of repeating the past. By developing a behavioral model, this study gives law enforcement a valuable tool for resolving domestic terrorism. Additional considerations relate to future policy implications and the course of future research.

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