Lorne Dawson

Senior Research Affiliate

Dr. Lorne L. Dawson is a Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Legal Studies, and Religious Studies, at the University of Waterloo. He has written three books, edited four books, and published seventy academic articles and book chapters. Most of his research was in the sociology of religion, but work on why some religions become violent led to research on the process of radicalization leading to terrorism. He is the Project Director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (www.tsas.ca). In recent years his research has focused on Western foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq (e.g., L. L. Dawson and A. Amarasingam, “Talking to Foreign Fighters: Insights into the Motivations,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 40, No. 3, (March) 2017), the development of a social ecology model of the process of radicalization leading to violence (e.g., L. L. Dawson, “Sketch of a Social Ecology Model for Explaining Homegrown Terrorist Radicalisation”, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague 8, no.1 2017), and a critique of how scholars have analysed the role of religiosity in motivating jihadist terrorism (e.g., L. L. Dawson, “Discounting Religion in the Explanation of Homegrown Terrorism: A Critique,” in J.R. Lewis, ed., Cambridge Companion to Religion and Terrorism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). He makes numerous invited presentations to academic and government groups, and is frequently interviewed in the media about terrorism.


Talking to Foreign Fighters: Socio-Economic Push versus Existential Pull Factors
Published in 2016 • TSAS WP16-14
Amarnath Amarasingam, Alexandra Bain and Lorne Dawson

Trying to Talk to Terrorists: Ethical and Methodological Challenges in Canada
Published in 2016 • TSAS WP16-13
Amarnath Amarasingam and Lorne Dawson

Picture of Lorne Dawson
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