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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy

DATE Project

Sié Center Research

Discursive Actions in Terror Environments

The Discursive Actions in Terror Environments (DATE) project studies the impact of positive rhetoric by government officials in reducing terrorist activity. Specially, it evaluates what motivations drive Turkish and Israeli officials to use conciliatory speech in response to terrorism, the sentiment of speech, and its impact.

Erica Chenoweth, Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and Laura Dugan, Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Maryland, began studying which types of counterterrorism measures are most effective in 2008. Chenoweth and Dugan's initial data collection consisted of more than 6,000 observations conducted in Israel. Later, they studied the data in order to map a correlation between antiterrorism activities and results. What they found was that conciliatory gestures were most effective in reducing terrorist activity. Additionally, most of these successful gestures were verbal, such as verbal assurances made by the Israeli government. (Learn more about the GATE project)

In this follow-up project, Chenoweth, Dugan and Brook Fisher Liu, an associate professor of communication at the University of Maryland, are seeking the answers to questions raised by the initial data set. Part of the project will include travel to Israel and Turkey to talk to policymakers to illuminate the value and effects of positive speech during conflict.

Project Sponsors

The DATE project is funded by an ADVANCE grant, given by the National Science Foundation to promote scholarship by women, and also by the University of Denver Faculty Research Fund and the Josef Korbel School Faculty Research Fund.

Research Team

  • Erica Chenoweth, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard University
  • Laura Dugan, Associate Professor, University of Maryland Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Brook Fisher Liu, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Maryland