SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS: ENHANCING THREAT ASSESSMENTS FOR TARGETED VIOLENCE
Vogt, Darren J.
Brannan, David W.
Aspland, Michael J.
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This research applies social network analysis and social identity theory to threat assessment investigations of subjects who commit acts of targeted violence. It provides a framework for understanding the expanding threat of targeted violence and its impact on U.S. homeland security. Statistics on targeted violence in the United States show that incidents are increasing in both frequency and lethality. Traditional studies of targeted violence have focused heavily on the mental state of the “lone” perpetrator without fully examining the role of social influences. This research incorporates case studies intended to offer insight, increase understanding, and suggest new methods of enhancing the current field of threat assessment for targeted violence cases. The findings of this research recommend new strategies for conducting targeted violence threat assessment investigations utilizing the application of social network analysis and social identity theory. Through an examination of previous targeted violent actors, this research establishes that understanding relevant social conditions can contribute significant clues about an individual’s risk of entering a pathway to violence. These clues can be mapped and followed over a period of time to reveal a social withdrawal and loss of restraining relationships.
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