CREST is delighted to host its third international conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security (BASS23), which will take place at the University of Bath, UK, from 11-13 July 2023. The conference themes are: Risk Assessment and Management, Gathering Human Intelligence, and Deterrence and Disruption.

Risk Assessment and Management

Risk assessment and 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?

Gathering Human Intelligence

Gathering human intelligence concerns eliciting and assessing information 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 remember and report what they know?
  • 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 hostile individual actors and groups and the ways in which actions and campaigns can be disrupted.  We are interested in understanding hostile actors’ experiences and behaviour, including target selection and reconnaissance as well as state-level disinformation and disruption campaigns. 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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