2017 ISA Conference Series: Exploring PIRUS with Patrick James (START)

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The Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) dataset contains deidentified individual-level information on the backgrounds, attributes, and radicalization processes of nearly 1,500 violent and non-violent extremists who adhere to far-right, far-left, Islamist, or single-issue ideologies in the United States covering 1948-2013. Coded using entirely public sources of information, the PIRUS dataset is among the first efforts to understand domestic radicalization from an empirical and scientifically rigorous perspective. Users can now explore the rich PIRUS data using the Keshif data visualization tool, a user-friendly platform that allows for intuitive and insightful analysis of the data in real-time.

Intelligence Analyst Paige Schilling sits down with Patrick James, project manager for PIRUS, to discuss PIRUS’s purpose and goals, trends, future research, and intentions to continue data to the present day.




Project Manager/Researcher, START

Patrick is a researcher at START and project manager for the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project, which seeks to explain the underlying mechanisms and processes of domestic radicalization within the United States using evidence-based approaches. Other research areas include the behavior and motivations of foreign fighters, processes and pathways of de-radicalization and disengagement from violent extremism, and countering violent extremism.  He earned his B.A. in International Studies from the University of North Texas and his M.A. in International Studies from the University of Denver, focusing on political violence, Middle East policy, and international security issues.

Prior to joining START, Patrick worked with the One Earth Future Foundation, a think-tank located near Denver, CO that seeks to reduce global conflict by promoting cross-cutting global governance structures to deal with emerging international issues that fall outside the traditional responsibility of states. At OEF, he constructed and managed large databases on violent non-state actor groups, provided research support for various clients, helped the R&D team develop papers and memos, and provided administrative assistance to the staff of the journal, Global Governance.. He also was a Research Assistant with the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research based out of the University of Denver.

In 2013, he earned his Master's in International Studies at the Josef Korbel School at the University of Denver with specialties in global security, Middle Eastern affairs, and US foreign policy. At the University of Denver, he also worked as a Research Assistant at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy for the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research, a think tank that aims to reduce political violence. The PTIR also develops policy-relevant research products to enhance critical thinking about problems related to political violence.