The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology (Executive Summary)

The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation executive summary

This is the executive summary of the full report on The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation, by Joel Busher, Donal Holbrook and Graham Macklin.

The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology (Executive Summary)
Click here to download the Executive Summary.

This is the Executive Summary by Joel Busher, Donald Holbrook and Graham Macklin, based on the full report (which can be found here) which looks at why some ‘extremists’ or ‘extremist groups’ choose not to engage in violence.

Such internal brakes are often evident in detailed accounts of decision-making within groups that use or flirt with violence, yet they are rarely examined systematically.

The aim of this project was to develop a descriptive typology of the internal brakes on violent escalation that could provide a basis for more systematic analysis of such brakes.

The typology

The typology is based around five underlying logics on which the internal brakes identified in this project operate:

Brake 1 – strategic logic: Identification of non- or less violent strategies of action as being as or more effective than more violent alternatives.

Brake 2 – moral logic: Construction of moral norms and evaluations that inhibit certain forms of violence and the emotional impulses towards violence.

Brake 3 – logic of ego maintenance: Self-identification as a group that is either nonviolent or uses only limited forms of violence.

Brake 4 – logic of outgroup definition: Boundary softening in relation to putative out-groups such as opponents, opponents’ perceived supporters, the general public or state actors.

Brake 5­ – organisational logic: Organisational developments that either (a) alter the moral and strategic equations in favour of non- or limited violence, (b) institutionalise less violent collective identities and/or processes of boundary softening, and/or (c) reduce the likelihood of unplanned violence.

This summary highlights findings from three very different case studies to construct, test and refine the typology: the transnational and UK jihadi scene from 2005 to 2016; the British extreme right during the 1990s, and the animal liberation movement in the UK from the mid-1970s until the early 2000s.

 


The Internal Brakes On Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology

Download the Executive Summary here: The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology (Executive Summary)

You can find the full report here.

You can download the three case studies (also found in the full report) individually here:

  1. The transnational and British jihadi scene from 2005 to 2016
  2. The British extreme right during the 1990s
  3. The animal liberation movement in the UK from the mid-1970s until the early 2000s

This is the Executive Summary from The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology project, funded by CREST. To find out more information about this project, and to see other outputs from the team go to: www.crestresearch.ac.uk/internal-brakes

This report is produced under a Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC-SA licence. For more information on how you can use our content read our copyright page.