CREST is delighted to host its second international conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security (BASS22), which will take place in Lancaster, UK, from 19-21 July 2022. The conference themes are: Risk and risk management, Eliciting and assessing information, and Deterrence and disruption.

Risk and Risk Management

Risk and risk management concerns the actors involved in security threats. Here we are interested in actors’ backgrounds, beliefs, values and motivations; and assessments of the risks they pose and what measures can be taken to mitigate these risks. Example questions in this theme might include: 

  • Who are the perpetrators and supporters of security threats? 
  • What roles do perpetrators play in planning, recruitment, fundraising, ideological transmission and the enactment of security threats? 
  • What determines if a person or group will engage in crime or violence? 
  • How should we integrate psychological, psychiatric or neurological conditions into our risk assessments?  
  • What factors lead to de-escalation, reporting or countering of violent extremism or criminal activity?

Eliciting and Assessing Information

Eliciting and assessing information concerns the gathering and curating of intelligence about individuals, relationships, groups and organisational processes. With the growth in digitisation, we are also interested in how information may be gathered online, how this relates to offline behaviours, and the use of behavioural analytics.  Example questions in this theme might include: 

  • How can we effectively detect lies?  
  • What techniques can help people recall facts about an event? 
  • What steps do terrorists take to protect their security? 
  • How can behavioural analytics help officers make case decisions around risk or asset management? 
  • What can data from social media and online platforms tell us, and how can we assess the veracity of this information?  

Deterrence and Disruption

Deterrence and disruption concerns the ways in which hostile actors’ actions can be disrupted and the methods to disengage them from crime and violence.  We are interested in understanding hostile actors’ experiences and behaviour, including target selection and reconnaissance. Example questions in this theme might include: 

  • How do different interventions affect an adversary’s ability to operate? 
  • What factors moderate the effectiveness of efforts to deter or disrupt?  
  • How do processes that deter online groups overlap or diverge from those that deter offline groups?  
  • How can we develop and improve the evidence base for existing and new forms of deterrence?
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