Ryan Scrivens

Ryan Scrivens
Michigan State University | MSU · School of Criminal Justice

Ph.D. (Criminology)

About

67
Publications
46,939
Reads
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687
Citations
Introduction
I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. I am also an Associate Director at the International CyberCrime Research Centre at Simon Fraser University and a Research Fellow at the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence. I conduct problem-oriented interdisciplinary research with a focus on terrorists’ and extremists’ use of the Internet, right-wing terrorism and extremism, and hate crime.
Additional affiliations
April 2016 - May 2019
Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI)
Position
  • Coordinator of the Canadian Network of PhD Theses Writers
January 2016 - April 2016
Simon Fraser University
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Course: CRIM 220 – Research Methods in Criminology
January 2015 - present
Simon Fraser University
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
September 2013 - September 2017
Simon Fraser University
Field of study
  • Criminology

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Many researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are concerned about online communities that are known to facilitate violent right-wing extremism, but little is empirically known about these digital spaces in general and the developmental posting behaviors that make up these spaces in particular. In this study, group-based trajectory modeling—deri...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the ongoing need for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to identify and assess the online activities of violent extremists prior to their engagement in violence offline, little is empirically known about their online behaviors generally or differences in their posting behaviors compared to non-violent extremists who share similar...
Article
Full-text available
Although there is an ongoing need for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify and assess the online activities of violent extremists prior to their engagement in violence offline, little is empirically known about their online posting patterns generally or differences in their online patterns compared to non-violent extremists who sha...
Article
Full-text available
There is an ongoing need for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to detect and assess online posting behaviors of violent extremists prior to their engagement in violence offline, but little is empirically known about their online behaviors generally or the differences in their behaviors compared with nonviolent extremists who share simila...
Article
Full-text available
Research has overwhelmingly focused on pathways into violent extremism, but few empirically grounded analyses have examined pathways out of violent extremism. Even less is empirically known about the interactions between processes of disengagement and deradicalization from violent extremism. To address this gap, in-depth interviews were conducted w...
Article
Full-text available
The overallaim of the review is to map the definitions and measurement tools used to capture the whole spectrum of hate motivated behaviors, including hate crime, hate speech and hate incidents. This will benefit the field of hate studies by providing a baseline that can inform the building of cumulative knowledge and comparative research. The firs...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the emerging trends in the empirical literature on right-wing extremists’ use of the Internet. These trends are organized into five core uses identified by (Conway, 2006): information provision, networking, recruitment, financing, and information gathering. Highlighted throughout this chapter are key gaps in the empirical li...
Article
Full-text available
The online presence of incels, or involuntary celibates, has been an increasing security concern for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in recent years, given that self-identified incels – including Alek Minassian and Elliot Rodger – used the Internet to disseminate incel ideology and manifestos prior to committing acts of violence. Howev...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This policy note highlights the importance of both identifying and examining the online behaviors of violent and non-violent extremists in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and provides researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with a number of recommendations for detecting and analyzing the online behaviors of violent and non-...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, research in terrorism studies has drawn from a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, political science, psychology, and security studies. More recently, however, researchers have argued that criminological approaches can and should inform terrorism studies as well. In this paper, we apply four criminological perspectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Although many law enforcement and intelligence agencies are concerned about online communities known to facilitate violent right-wing extremism, little is empirically known about the presence of extremist ideologies, expressed grievances, or violent mobilization efforts that make up these spaces. In this study, we conducted a content analysis of a...
Article
Full-text available
Right-wing extremist groups harness popular social media platforms to accrue and mobilize followers. In recent years, researchers have examined the various themes and narratives espoused by extremist groups in the United States and Europe, and how these themes and narratives are employed to mobilize their followings on social media. Little, however...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter is broken up into two sections: terrorists' and violent extremists' use of the Internet, and cyberterrorism. In the first half of the chapter, we first define terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization and highlight the challenges of conceptualizing such terms. Next, we provide an overview of the central ideologies that motivate t...
Chapter
Full-text available
The goal of this chapter is to trace some of the more contemporary contours of the criminological scholarship around right-wing extremism (RWE). Criminology is inherently inter-disciplinary, so we begin the essay with a consideration of where the boundaries of criminology lie, in terms of the discipline generally and extremism specifically. We then...
Article
Full-text available
Since the advent of the Internet, right-wing extremists and those who subscribe to extreme right views have exploited online platforms to build a collective identity among the like-minded. Research in this area has largely focused on extremists’ use of websites, forums, and mainstream social media sites, but overlooked in this research has been an...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines how those who study issues related to radicalization and counter-radicalization have recently drawn from the experiences of former extremists to inform our understanding of complex issues in terrorism and extremism studies. The authors synthesize the empirical research on radicalization and counter-radicalization that incorpor...
Article
Full-text available
The theoretical literature from criminology, social movements, and political sociology, among others, includes diverging views about how political outcomes could affect movements. Many theories argue that political defeats motivate the losing side to increase their mobilization while other established models claim the winning side may feel encourag...
Article
Full-text available
While a growing body of evidence suggests that the Internet is a key facilitator of violent extremism, research in this area has rarely incorporated former extremists’ experiences with the Internet when they were involved in violent extremism. To address this gap, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 Canadian former right-wing extremists who...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, researchers have shown a vested interest in developing advanced information technologies, machine-learning algorithms, and risk-assessment tools to detect and analyze radical content online, with increased attention on identifying violent extremists or measuring digital pathways of violent radicalization. Yet overlooked in this evo...
Chapter
Full-text available
The overwhelming focus in the scholarly literature on extremist groups online tends to focus on jihadist groups like the so-called Islamic State and Al Qaeda. With right-wing violence erupting in places like Charlottesville and Quebec City, and with a new generation of extreme right activism coming to the fore, there is a need to better understand...
Chapter
Full-text available
Many researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers continue to raise questions about the role of the Internet in facilitating violent extremism and terrorism. A surge in research on this issue notwithstanding, relatively few empirically-grounded analyses are yet available. This chapter provides researchers with five key suggestions for progressing...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, research on pathways in and out of violent extremism has grown at a staggering rate. Yet much of what is known about these oftentimes "mysterious" processes does not necessarily shed light on the specific aspects of right-wing extremism, and especially not from a Canadian perspective. In an effort to bridge this gap, we use a life-...
Article
Full-text available
This policy brief traces how Western right-wing extremists have exploited the power of the internet from early dial-up bulletin board systems to contemporary social media and messaging apps. It demonstrates how the extreme right has been quick to adopt a variety of emerging online tools, not only to connect with the like-minded, but to radicalise s...
Article
Full-text available
While it has become increasingly common for researchers, practitioners and policymakers to draw from the insights of former extremists to combat violent extremism, overlooked in this evolving space has been an in-depth look at how formers perceive such efforts. To address this gap, interviews were conducted with 10 Canadian former right-wing extrem...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter describes and discusses the roles of media tools and technologies in the facilitation of violent extremism and terrorism. Rather than focusing on how media report on terrorism, we investigate how extremist and terrorist groups and movements themselves have exploited various ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ media tools, from print to digital, ou...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master (MA) Theses on issues relating to victims of violent extremism and terrorism. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database using various combinations of search terms, including – but indeed not limited to – ‘victims of terrori...
Chapter
Despite the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)’s recent concern with the growing threat from right-wing extremists (RWEs) nationwide, we have little contemporary scholarship on the RWE movement in Canada and fewer attempts to systematically analyse their ideologies and activities. Drawing on the three-year study described in Chapter 2, i...
Chapter
This chapter describes how, in the two intervening years since the 2015 report was completed, the landscape of the right-wing extremist (RWE) movement in Canada appears to have changed dramatically, in large part thanks to Donald J. Trump’s journey to the White House. His campaign and his surprising electoral victory rode a wave of anti-elitism and...
Chapter
Recent world events seem to have motivated renewed activity among and public attention to right-wing extremism (RWE), not only within a global context but in Canada as well. Our findings suggest that the foundations of RWE are complex and multifaceted, grounded in both individual and social conditions. This suggests that, so too must counter-extrem...
Chapter
This chapter explores the landscape of right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada. Three overlapping sections make up this chapter: (1) historical context; (2) contemporary categories and distribution of groups; and (3) nature and threat of violence. We first provide a historical timeline of RWE in Canada, from the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in...
Chapter
This chapter highlights the social, cultural and political landscape in which organized hate groups emerge in Canada. Here, our focus is on the social contexts that enable such groups to flourish. We first lay out the theoretical frame to understand how broader social, cultural and political patterns render “permission to hate” in Canada. We consid...
Chapter
Heightened saliency/immediacy of the perceived grievance, as is evident from the intensity of the rhetoric of the hate group;
Chapter
Full-text available
Purpose – This chapter examines how sentiment analysis and web-crawling technology can be used to conduct large-scale data analyses of extremist content online. Methods/approach – The authors describe a customized web-crawler that was developed for the purpose of collecting, classifying, and interpreting extremist content online and on a large sca...
Book
This book comprehensively examines right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada, discussing the lengthy history of violence and distribution, ideological bases, actions, organizational capacity and connectivity of these extremist groups. It explores the current landscape, the factors that give rise to and minimise these extremist groups, strategies for cou...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master (MA) Theses on issues relating to the role of the Internet in facilitating and combating radicalization, extremism, terrorism and cyber-terrorism. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database using various combinations of sear...
Article
Full-text available
Donald J. Trump’s journey to the White House signaled the resurgence of right-wing populism in the United States. His campaign and his surprising electoral victory rode a wave of anti-elitism and xenophobia. He masterfully exploited the economic and cultural anxieties of white working class and petite bourgeois Americans by deflecting blame for the...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master (MA) Theses on issues relating to countering violent extremism, preventing violent extremism, and terrorism prevention. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database, using the broad search term 'terror-ism', 'terrorisme', 'ter...
Chapter
Full-text available
Correctional scholars have long explored how those who are imprisoned for sexual offences (SOs) are targeted because of the nature of their crimes. In consequence, SOs report experiencing excessive physical, psychological, and emotional violence in prison. On the surface, their experiences resonate with how some scholars conceptualize the patterns...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have previously explored how right-wing extremists build a collective identity online by targeting their perceived “threat,” but little is known about how this “us” versus “them” dynamic evolves over time. This study uses a sentiment analysis-based algorithm that adapts criminal career measures, as well as semi-parametric group-based mo...
Article
Full-text available
Donald J. Trump’s journey to the White House signaled the resurgence of right-wing populism in the United States. His campaign and his surprising electoral victory rode a wave of anti-elitism and xenophobia. He masterfully exploited the economic and cultural anxieties of white working class and petite bourgeois Americans by deflecting blame for the...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master (MA) Theses on issues relating to terrorism and counter-terrorism. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database using the search terms 'terrorism' and 'jihad'. More than 4,800 entries were evaluated, of which 130 were ultimate...
Article
Full-text available
Despite a pervasive concern among law enforcement and security agencies, there are relatively few academic explorations of the likelihood of violence associated with anti-authority activists from groups such as the Freemen-on-the-Land, Sovereign Citizens, and similar movements within Canada. In order to begin addressing this gap in knowledge, this...
Article
Full-text available
This article highlights the social, cultural, and political landscape in which organized hate groups emerge, drawing from a 3-year study of the right-wing extremist movement in Canada. Through extensive interviews with law enforcement, community activists and hate group activists, as well as open source intelligence, we examined the factors that ar...
Article
Full-text available
The Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI) seeks to stimulate and coordinate high-quality research in the field of (Counter-)Terrorism Studies. One of TRI’s instruments are national and (sub-)regional networks of post-graduate students working on their doctoral theses. TRI networks, led by a local coordinator who is usually her- or himself working on...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master’s (MA) Theses on issues relating to terrorism and counter-terrorism. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database, using the search terms ‘terrorisme’, ‘terrorismo’, and ‘Terrorismus’. More than 1,000 entries were evaluated, o...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master’s (MA) Theses on issues relating to terror- ism and counter-terrorism. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database, using the search term ‘terrorism’. More than 1,400 entries were evaluated, of which 152 were ultimately selec...
Thesis
Full-text available
Criminologists have generally agreed that the Internet is not only a tool or resource for right-wing extremists to disseminate ideas and products, but also a site of important identity work, accomplished interactively through the exchange of radical ideas. Online discussion forums, amongst other interactive corners of the Web, have become an essent...
Article
Full-text available
Recent world events seem to have motivated renewed activity of and public attention to right-wing extremism, not only within a global context but in Canada as well. In a national study involving interviews with Canadian law enforcement officials, community organizations, and right-wing activists, paired with analyses of open source intelligence, we...
Article
Full-text available
This bibliography contains doctoral dissertations (Ph.D.) and Master (MA) Theses on issues relating to terrorism and counter-terrorism. Titles were retrieved manually by browsing the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) database, using the search term ‘terrorism’. More than 2,500 entries were evaluated, of which 238 were ultimately selected...
Article
Full-text available
As violent extremists continue to surface in online discussion forums, law enforcement agencies search for new ways of uncovering their digital indicators. Researchers have both described and hypothesized a number of ways to detect online traces of potential extremists, yet this area of inquiry remains in its infancy. This study proposes a new sear...
Chapter
Full-text available
Our goal in this chapter is to review the current “state of the art” with respect to conceptualizing, researching, and responding to hate crime. It seeks to lay out areas that are by now widely addressed, those that represent recent developments, and those that remain underdeveloped. We reflect on what we do and don’t know, and to encourage our col...
Research
Full-text available
That terrorism associated with right-wing extremists is largely absent from the public agenda in Canada is evident from even a cursory review of the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC) website, for example. The list of Terrorist Incidents, while international in scope, includes only one right wing terrorist incident – Anders Breivik’s hor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since the inception of the World Wide Web, security agencies, researchers, and analysts have focused much of their attention on the sentiment found on hate-inspired web-forums. Here, one of their goals has been to detect and measure users' affects that are expressed in the forums as well as identify how users' affects change over time. Manual inspe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The total number of webpages has grown substantially since the birth of the Internet. So too have the number of webpages dedicated to radical yet subtle content. As these new circumstances have necessitated a guided data collection method, one that can sidestep the laborious manual methods that have been classically utilized, simple keyword analysi...
Article
Full-text available
Each entry contains information on the (working) title of the doctoral dissertation, its author, the academic institution where the thesis is being written (including name of supervisor where provided) and the expected date of completion. At the end of the list are a number of theses that have recently been completed.
Chapter
Full-text available
To see the Internet as only a ‘tool’ or ‘resource’ for disseminating ideas and products, as much of the literature has done, is to miss an even more significant aspect of online venues. The Internet is also a site of important ‘identity work’, in which collective identities can be accomplished interactively. This chapter explores how collective ide...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's recent concern with the growing threat from right-wing extremists nationwide, we have little contemporary scholarship on the far right movement in Canada and fewer attempts to systematically analyze their ideologies and activities. Drawing on a three-year study involving interviews with Canadian...

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
The purpose of this project is to explore the roles of former violent extremists in the P/CVE space. Deepening the understanding of the current trends and challenges and adding possible recommendations around what some useful future strategies may be to enhance the contributions by former violent extremists in the P/CVE space.
Project
Through extensive interviews with law enforcement, community activists and hate group activists, as well as open source intelligence, we are examining the endogenous and exogenous factors that facilitate and inhibit the right-wing extremist movement in Canada.
Project
We are developing ways to identify signs of extremism in large scale data online, primarily through the use of advanced machine learning tools.