Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Liam Anderson (Committee Member), Donna Schlagheck (Advisor), Vaughn Shannon (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The following research addresses the susceptibility of liberalized nations to encounter Islamic political violence associated with the behaviors they direct toward Islamic minorities. Democratic values, theoretically, weaken the ability of free regimes to defend against the emergence of Islamic extremism and terrorism. Experiences with these phenomena are, however, specific to multicultural or assimilationist democratic states that esteem civil liberties and individual freedom. This study presents diverse data sets to understand the interaction of state behaviors shaped by the adoption of multiculturalism or assimilationist polices concerning Islamic minorities and violent outcomes. The findings suggest that state behaviors affecting Islamic populations are correlated with heightened or reduced prospects of Islamic political violence. Moreover, this research demonstrates that, democracies' unique experiences with Islamic violence and extremism connect with multicultural integrationist or assimilationist practices and that the impact of state behavior on Islamic populations and majorities relates to democracies' experiences with the emergence of Islamic radicalism and political aggression in unexpected ways.

UPDATE: This research was defended December 2, 2014. Nearly a month later 12 Frenchmen tragically fell victim to Jihadist violence at the offices of a satirical newspaper. While the measures in this study, compiled to operationalize Islamic Political Violence, do not reflect these causalities their incorporation would neither skew the results nor impact the findings. This incidence further substantiates that social science research cannot predict the emergence of jihadist violence. In light of this development, however, it can be determined that state behavior connects with heightened or reduced prospects of Islamic political violence. Never should state behavior be solely attributable to deadly violence or its alteration be entirely depended upon as a robust means through which to strategically prevent such occurrences.

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Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.