Two new articles

Blogging has been light this month, but I’ve had two recent publications you may like to see.

The first is this post on the ideological diversity of terrorism, published on Fatima Measham’s blog This is Complicated.

The post was prompted by the apparent return of the idea that ‘not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists are Muslims’. This idea seemed to have faded away a bit after the attacks by Anders Breivik and Wade Michael Page, but has returned in some circles following the attacks in Boston and Woolwich. After Andrew Bolt stated that “[w]e have the right to worry, and even the right to suspect every time a bomb goes off that Muslim hands set the detonator”, I felt the need to present the available terrorism statistics and show that jihadism is far from the only threat.

That said, the post does show that jihadism indeed poses the greatest current terror threat to Australia. For more detail on that threat, have a look at my upcoming article (paywalled) in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.


After 2003, Australia’s domestic jihadist plots shifted from being externally-guided to being entirely self-starting, which was out of sync with international trends. To identify the causes behind this turning point, this paper first provides a brief overview of jihadist activity in Australia, showing how the post-2003 shift differentiates it from comparable countries. The paper then examines several potential explanations for the shift that prove insufficient. Following that, the paper demonstrates that the shift occurred because key facilitators between Australia and South Asia were removed or deterred. This factor, combined with the limited strategic importance of Australia, low levels of jihadist radicalisation, and limited diaspora involvement from the countries most central to al-Qaeda operations, explains Australia’s specific pattern of jihadist activity.

Note that this is not the final version of the article. Rather, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism is providing a new service of allowing the articles to go online before final publication, so that authors’ research findings can reach the public as early as possible, as explained here:

For selected journals, Taylor & Francis offers the Accepted Manuscript (AM) Online feature, whereby the accepted (but unedited and uncorrected) manuscript is posted online, normally five working days after receipt at Taylor & Francis, and appear in a “Latest articles” list on the journal’s webpage. The posted file is clearly identified as an unedited author’s accepted manuscript that has been scheduled for publication. Copy-editing, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof are then undertaken on this manuscript before formal publication of the Version of Record (VoR). During production and pre-press, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal relate to the AM Online version.

The final version will be out in September this year.

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