Lorne Dawson is a Professor in Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo, and Director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security, and Society. His research focuses on the process of radicalization leading to violence, religious extremism, jihadist foreign fighters, and programs for countering violent extremism.
The Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security, and Society (TSAS), was founded in 2012. It is a partnership of thirteen Canadian universities, nine government agencies, seven international research centres, three schools of international affairs, and two NGOs. With almost 300 research affiliates in and outside of Canada, TSAS promotes the development of policy-relevant research and evidence-based policy in the areas of terrorism and violent extremism, efforts to counter and prevent security threats, and the impact of terrorism and securitization on society. TSAS funds research with small and large research grants, and graduate studentships, and publishes reports and presents workshops based on this and other research.
Dr. Dawson has authored three books, edited five, and published over 70 academic journal articles and book chapters. He is the Principal Investigator for the project “Foreign Fighter Radicalization: Advanced Primary Data Acquisition and Analysis” (Community Resilience Fund, Public Safety Canada, $256,950) and a Co-PI for “Testing the Reliability, Validity and Equity of Terrorism Risk Assessment Tools” (Community Resilience Fund, Public Safety Canada, $546,405). He is currently writing two books, Western Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq, with Amar Amarasingam (Hurst and Oxford University Press), and Religious Terrorism (Cambridge University Press). He has served as the Chair of departments at the University of Waterloo three times, and is the recipient of three UW Outstanding Performance Awards (2005, 2007, 2012).
Select Recent Publications
- Lorne L. Dawson and Amarnath Amarasingam, “Canadian Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq, 2012-2016,” in Jeremy Littlewood, Lorne L. Dawson, and Sara Thompson, eds., Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2019.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “Debating the Role of Religion in the Motivation of Religious Terrorism,” Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 31 (2), 2018: 98-117.
- Deven Parekh, Amarnath Amarasingam, Lorne Dawson, Derek Ruths, “Studying Jihadists on Social Media: A Critique of Data Collection Methodologies,” Perspectives on Terrorism 12 (3), 2018: 5-23.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “The Demise of the Islamic State and the Fate of its Western Foreign Fighters: Six Things to Consider.” Policy Brief, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, No. 9. 2018.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “Challenging the Curious Erasure of Religion from the Study of Religious Terrorism,” Numen 65 (2-3), 2018:141-164.
- Amarnath Amarasingam and Lorne L. Dawson, “‘I Left to be Closer to Allah’ – Learning about Foreign Fighters from Family and Friends.” Institute for Strategic Dialogue, 26 pages, May 24, 2018.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “Discounting Religion in the Explanation of Homegrown Terrorism: A Critique,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Cambridge Companion to Religion and Terrorism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017: 32-45.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “The Failure of Prophecy and the Future of IS,” Policy Brief, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, Research Note No. 8 2017.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “Sketch of a Social Ecology Model for Explaining Homegrown Terrorist Radicalisation,” International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, No. 8 2017.
- Lorne L. Dawson and Amarnath Amarasingam, “Talking to Foreign Fighters: Insights into the Motivations for Hijrah to Syria and Iraq,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 40 (3), 2017: 191-210. (Translated into Arabic and reprinted by The World Institute)
- David C. Hofmann and Lorne L. Dawson, “The Neglected Role of Charismatic Authority in the Study of Terrorist Groups and Radicalization.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 37 (4), 2014: 348-368.
- Lorne L. Dawson, “Trying to Make Sense of Homegrown Terrorist Radicalization: The Case of the Toronto 18,” in Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson, eds., Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014: 64-91.