We are interested in theoretical, empirical and critical papers, posters and talks from any discipline that address one of the conference’s three themes: Understanding who and why; better intelligence gathering; and decision making, protective security and risk assessment. These themes, described in more detail below, will be interpreted broadly.

We invite submissions (details below) on these themes for:

  • 20-minute papers
  • Posters
  • Five-minute lightning talks on emerging research


Understanding who and why

Papers in this theme will address the subject of the actors involved in security threats, their backgrounds, beliefs, values and motivations, how they learn and communicate to internal and external audiences, and the factors that lead to disruption, disengagement and desistence from crime and violence.

Who are the perpetrators and supporters of security threats? What roles do they play in planning, recruitment, fundraising, ideological transmission and the enactment of such threats? Why, how and when do individuals or groups engage in or disengage from crime or violence? What are the processes of learning, innovation or escalation involved? And what factors and decisions lead to de-escalation, and the reporting or countering of violent extremism or criminal activity?

Better intelligence gathering

This theme addresses the subject of gathering and curating intelligence of all kinds: information about individuals, relationships, groups, organisational processes. Information that is rooted in human interactions and information rooted on offline or online analytics of signals and other digital traces.

How can we tell if someone told a lie? What techniques can help people recall facts about an event? How are terrorist groups financed and what decisions do terrorists make to protect their security? How can behavioural analytics help officers make case decisions around risk or asset management? Can social media use look unusual and how can we assess the value of the information we receive?

Decision making, protective security and risk assessment

This theme addresses the need to better understand how we can protect ourselves, both online and in the physical world. Papers might consider how security professionals can help protect organisations and improve communication with employees, or how communities or families seek to protect themselves in the face of violent extremism or organised crime. Papers may also consider how terrorists and other criminal groups, and the services who respond to them, make decisions, anticipate and respond to critical incidents.

How can we patch security vulnerabilities with people rather than relying solely on technology? How can we prevent low-level breaches in security by well-meaning employees? How can we ensure that products are ‘secure by default’? What can people’s digital footprints tell us about their risk profile and vulnerabilities? Can behavioural science inform interventions to encourage more secure behaviour?


Proposals for papers, posters and lightning talks should be made using the form available from this link: BASS20 Submission form and submitted to by Sunday 15th March 2020.