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22 Homicide Stud. 3 (2018)

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Editorial

                                                                    Homicide Studies
                                                                  2018, Vol. 22(l) 3-7
The     Intersection          of207SEPbiaon
                                                              @ 2017 SAGE Publications
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                                                         DOI: 10.1177/1088767917737809
and    Violent Extrem             ism                     journals.sagepub.com/home/hsx
                                                                      OSAGE




The main purpose  of this special issue of Homicide Studies is to explore the similari-
ties and differences between traditional homicide and a variety of less common homi-
cide forms involving political and other ideological motivations. Scholarly terrorism
research has historically manifested most frequently as the psychological study of
radicalization processes (Horgan, 2005; Kruglanski et al., 2014) and terrorist group
dynamics  by  political scientists (Abrahms, 2012; Schmid   &  Jongman,  1988).
Conversely, although there are important exceptions (e.g., Hamm, 1993; Smith, 1994),
most criminological research on terrorism and violent extremism has been conducted
more recently, increasing after the coordinated terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The dearth of criminological attention to terrorism in the past, particularly by homi-
cide researchers, is an important gap for several reasons.
   First, there are many apparent similarities between terrorism and crime. Sutherland
(1947) famously wrote that criminology includes within its scope the study of the
making of laws, the breaking laws, and reactions to the breaking of laws (p. 1)-which
would seem  to unambiguously locate terrorism within the field of criminology. Among
our contemporaries, this position has also been made forcefully by Clarke and Newman
(2006), who state simply that [t]errorism is a form of crime in all essential respects
(p. i). We concur. Prior research has found that terrorism and crime have limited and
common   offender pools (i.e., young males; DeLisi, Neppl, Lohman, Vaughn, & Shook,
2013; Gendreau, Little, & Goggin, 1996), have deleterious effects on social trust and
community  cohesion (Anderson, 2000;  Kirk & Matsuda,  2011), and are social con-
structions which derive meaning from human  interactions all the while reproducing
rules and norms (LaFree & Dugan, 2004). But it is important to recognize that there are
also differences between terrorism and ordinary crime. Perhaps most obviously, tradi-
tional criminals are generally driven by personal gain and selfishness, while terrorism
is most often motivated by  the furtherance of political causes and even altruism
(Crenshaw  & Horowitz, 1983; LaFree, Dugan, & Miller, 2015). And though common
criminals usually try to avoid detection, terrorists commit crimes unabashedly and often
seek the largest audiences possible (Kydd & Walter, 2006; Pape, 2005), ostensibly justi-
fied by their perceived contributions to the greater good (Hoffman, 1998; Jagko, LaFree,
& Kruglanski, 2016; McCauley  & Moskalenko, 2011).
   A second reason why  we  regard the lack of criminological terrorism research as
unfortunate is that homicide researchers actually have a long history of examining rare
forms of lethal violence, and have explicitly noted the importance of considering the

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