As a child, I can recall my parents watching news media coverage of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Later, I observed the events of September 11, 2001, unfold on television. I vividly remember the news anchor announcing that the station would neither show people jumping from the World Trade Center before their collapse nor the collapse of the Towers. These two events cemented my interest in criminal and violent sub-state groups. While I am broadly interested in Terrorism and Political Violence, I have three specific focuses.
My first interest is the study of solo actors who engage in political violence and organizations which employ flat and/or decentralized leadership structures. I study the impact of centralization on how organizations conceive an ideological framework, develop their tactical portfolios, and mobilize support. My interests also examine how individuals within decentralized organizations compete for support among the social movement.
The second path of my research involves the study of the American Far Right. I always found myself drawn to documentaries about Skinheads, Militias, and Nazi Germany. This interest led me to the study of Far-Right ideological groups and individuals. My research works to provide greater context for their existence and explore their modern manifestations.
The final avenue of my research regards the interaction of law enforcement officers and political extremists. Political extremists are likely to interact with members of law enforcement. As a result, I want to understand the process of these interactions and provide guidance on how to efficiently deal with political extremists. I am also interested in how law enforcement officers address issues such as bias-motivated crime, corruption, and how an officer's perception of threat changes during officer-public interactions.