Research Briefs are short, engaging and accessibly written descriptions of the results of TSAS-funded research projects, focusing on top-level conclusions and policy relevance.

Research Reports are longer, evidence-based, policy-relevant scholarly analyses on topics related to terrorism, security, and society, broadly defined, that touch on Canada, Canadian issues in comparative context, or global issues of interest to a Canadian audience.

Working Papers are scholarly analyses of various lengths that provide analysis based on TSAS-funded research projects. We are no longer accepting submissions for this series.


Research into How Resources are Acquired, Moved and Used to Support Acts of Terrorism

The study was directed to answer six questions on terrorist resourcing in Canada through a comparative analysis that identified: resourcing activities; actors involved; interconnections of activities; importance of different forms; implications of the activities; means of response; and, the relative value of conducting analysis through the Terrorist Resourcing Model (TRM) lens. The Canadian approach to…


Social impacts of the securitized arrival experiences of in-Canada refugee claimants

This multi-sited research included qualitative interviews with 19 in-Canada refugee claimants declared convention refugees under the new (since Dec 1, 2012) immigration legislation. The research sought to answer two questions: (i) What are the effects of the securitization of migration policies insofar as success in integration and feelings of trust and belonging; and (ii) Are…


Analyzing the formal and informal roles of women in security and justice in Yemen: Reflections for future considerations

This paper is part of a larger project which examines the roles and agency of women in counterterrorism practices. This paper specifically asks: what formal and informal roles have women played in the provision of security in Yemen, and how may this inform domestic post-conflict security considerations, as well as international security concerns? Yemen is…


Cheering on the Jihad: An Exploration of Women’s Participation in Online Pro-jihadist Networks

This paper poses the following questions: Can identifiable patterns of engagement by female posters be discerned based on content of posts? Does the type of the jihadist group studied have any appreciable effect on female members’ posting content? This paper presents the findings of two separate, but inter-related, studies of the posting activities of women…


Teaching CVE: a review of the Preventing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation in Australia handbook, and challenges across policy and practice

(1) What are some of the key issues and challenges that emerged following the release of the Preventing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation in Australia (PVERA) handbook? (2) What lessons that can be drawn from the content and public reception of the PVERA handbook? Schools and community organizations have recently become an important focus of the…


Assessment of the state of knowledge: Connections between research on the social psychology of the Internet and violent extremism

This paper seeks to answer the question: How does social psychology contribute to our understanding of the link between the Internet and violent extremism? There seems to be little doubt that the Internet is increasingly implicated in radicalization processes. Yet the mechanisms underlying the link between the Internet and violent extremism, and their relative importance,…


Bridging the National Security Accountability Gap: A Three-Part System to Modernize Canada’s Inadequate Review of National Security

This paper examines existing challenges associated with the current structure of national security accountability review in Canada. It then draws on best practices in other jurisdictions to propose a systematic overall of the Canadian national security review system. The paper hopes to contribute to current discussions about reform in this area. It focuses particular attention…


Taking Hoaxes Seriously: Characteristics of Terrorism Hoaxes and their Perpetrators

What can existing literature and available data tell us about terrorism hoaxes (i.e. those incidents that are believed to be acts of serious terrorism, but do not actually involve any real risk of harm)? Terrorist hoaxes do not result in death or harm to people or property, but they do impose costs on governments and…


Impromptu Initiative: Security Certificates and Scale

This paper offers some background and theoretical framing as part of a larger project on the Canadian Security Certificate Initiative. Here I consider questions about different ways of thinking about responses to national security and how they contrast with security concerns that do not invoke the need for secrecy. The use of secret information in…


Policies and Responsibilities for Governing Violent Extremism at Ontario Universities

This research looks at the governance of violent extremism on Ontario university campuses. Specifically, it explores: 1) how Ontario universities are governed; 2) how student organizations (such as clubs) and student governments are governed, and; 3) pre-existing policies that could apply to the governance of violent extremism. The policies of ten universities and the governance…


Traits de personnalité et terrorisme

Plusieurs chercheurs ont conclu que les traits de personnalité ne peuvent pas être liés au terrorisme. Cette conclusion est maintenant admise comme un fait dans les cercles académiques et gouvernementaux, ainsi que dans le monde du renseignement. Cependant, un examen méthodique de la documentation scientifique pertinente n’a révélé aucune preuve à cet effet, et n’a…


Personality Traits and Terrorism

Many researchers claim that individuals who engage in terrorism do not share distinct personality traits, a claim well accepted in academia, government, and the intelligence community. A thorough review of the literature, however, has yielded no evidence for this claim and found only three studies where the personality traits of terrorists were measured. Each study…


No Sandwiches Here: Representations of Women in Dabiq and Inspire Magazines

As we know from a wealth of mass media reporting, women are increasingly the focus of recruiters from pro-jihadist networks. Much of this reporting focuses on the Islamic State, in particular, as representing a new threat because of the nature of some of its female empowerment messages and imagery. However, we know very little about…


Quantifying and Qualifying Charisma: A Theoretical Framework for Measuring the Presence of Charismatic Authority in Terrorist Groups

In order to stimulate the production of robust and replicable empirical research on the dynamics of charismatic leadership in terrorist groups, this working paper operationalizes the social-scientific concept of charismatic authority. It presents and justifies a theoretical framework consisting of fourteen indicators meant to be used as a heuristic to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the…


Terrorist Babble and the Limits of the Law: Assessing a Prospective Canadian Terrorism Glorification Offence

Since 2007, the Canadian government has repeatedly expressed interest in a terrorism “glorification” offence, responding to internet materials regarded by officials as terrorist propaganda and as promoting “radicalization”. In the wake of the October 2014 attacks, this idea clearly remains on the government’s shortlist of responses. This article addresses the merits of such a criminal…


The Global Fight Against Terror: An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Counter-terrorism Governance

What does counter-terrorism governance currently look like at the national, regional, and global levels, how effective has it been, and what are some possible ways forward? Since 9/11, intense efforts have been undertaken at all levels of government to strengthen and expand counterterrorism governance. While these efforts are correlated with a reduction in terrorist activity…


Perceptions of Muslim Faith, Ethno-Cultural Community-based and Student Organizations in Countering Domestic Terrorism in Canada

What are the perceptions of Muslim community based organizations and university student organization leaders on domestic terrorism and counter-terrorism in Canada and what are their suggestions to prevent radicalization and improve existing counter-terrorism policy? Importance: Explore the phenomenon of radicalization within the Muslim community and examine community perceptions Identify reasons for the lack of community…


Can “Dangerous Speech” be Used in Explaining “Lone-Wolf” Terrorism?

“Lone wolf terrorism” challenges security scholars and practitioners alike with its unpredictable and ambiguous nature. One of the greatest of these challenges is contextualizing the part of socialization and indoctrination in such attacks. What role do extremist communities and speech play in shaping the beliefs a “lone wolf” kills for? The concept of “dangerous speech”…


Social Perspectives on National Security: A review of recent literature

This review was commissioned by TSAS to survey the ways in which academic researchers have been trying to understand the experiences of exclusion by marginalized youth, and how these might relate to trajectories of radicalization to violent extremism, and community-level security interventions. The primary purpose of this review is to consider the turn to community…


A Systematic Approach to Develop a Computational Framework for Counter-terrorism and Public Safety

Can agent-based modelling and virtual environment technologies be used to create a decision support, response planning and risk assessment system for emergence preparedness? By using state-of-the-art agent-based modelling and virtual environment technologies, we have built an affordable, flexible and powerful system for decision support, response planning and risk assessment. This system allows the user to…


A Framework for Estimating the Number of Extremists in Canada

How can researchers appropriately estimate the number of extremists, particularly violent extremists, in Canada? Having a reasonable idea of the size of the threat posed by violent extremists is a central policy consideration. Crucially, accurate estimates would allow for the better allocation and prioritization of limited resources. As well, they would allow afford a better…


The Process of Radicalization: Right-Wing Skinheads in Quebec

This research studies the radicalization process of right-wing skinheads in the province of Quebec by identifying the mechanisms that shape pathways toward extremism and violence. We look at the role and prevalence of violence in such right-wing groups and how it is used by members. We then consider whether these groups constitute a potential threat…


(Mis)Understanding Muslim Converts in Canada: A Critical Discussion of Muslim Converts in the Contexts of Security and Society

This research seeks to understand the causes and processes of Islamic conversion in Canada through this initial study of Islamic conversion in Ontario. It attempts to contextualize Islamic conversion within Canada’s national security debate. Canadian census data shows that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the country, and that although most of the Muslim…


The Effectiveness & Effects of Canada’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams

This paper is part of a larger project that studies the emergence of the idea of integration together with its implications. This paper asks: how has the idea of integration been institutionalized in Canada? What are its implications? Moreover, how should we study the effectiveness and effects of counter-terrorism institutions? The idea of integration in…


Eco-Terrorism and the Corresponding Legislative Efforts to Intervene and Prevent Future Attacks

This study reviews the extent of attacks related to eco-terrorism from 1970 to 2012 to understand the development of this relatively new phenomenon in Canada, Japan and the United States. Furthermore, we conducted legal analysis to identify important legislation related to prevention and intervention of eco-terrorism. Time series analysis was then applied to data to…

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Submit your research to TSAS for publication

Research Briefs: Research Briefs are invited submissions from TSAS grant recipients only. We do not accept unsolicited submissions to this series at this time.

Research Reports
: TSAS welcomes submissions of evidence-based, policy-relevant scholarly analyses on topics related to terrorism, security, and society, broadly defined, that touch on Canada, Canadian issues in comparative context, or global issues of interest to a Canadian audience. Research Reports are 5000-8000 words. At this time, we only accept submissions from current TSAS affiliates. Please contact us for detailed information on submitting your manuscript.

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