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 presence of charismatic authority in terrorist groups. It then applies the framework to an illustrative case study that examines the relationship between violent radicalization and charismatic authority in the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA).

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TSAS WP15-03

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