Talking Stagnation: Thematic Analysis of Terrorism Experts’ Perception of the Health of Terrorism Research

John F. Morrison

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In 2014, Marc Sageman proposed that terrorism research had stagnated. The claim of stagnation has resulted in a period of collective review within terrorism studies. To date, the fruits of this review have revealed a more cautiously optimistic view of the field than that proposed by Sageman. This article aims to add to this review by analyzing the interviews of forty-three guests from the first season of the Talking Terror podcast. Presented is a thematic analysis of their views on the overall health of terrorism research. The interviewees included both pre-and post-9/11 researchers. Through this analysis four themes are identified: Interdisciplinary Research and Researchers, Data, Applied Research, and Area/Field. The majority of inter- viewees were more optimistic than Sageman in relation to the overall health of the area. Analysis of their responses is presented alongside some recom- mendations for the future direction of the area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Early online date25 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2020


  • Terrorism studies; academia; thematic analysis; stagnation; podcast

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