The grievance-identity relationship: understanding the role of identity processes and stigmatisation on Muslims’ perceptions of terrorist grievances

Harley Williamson, Kristina Murphy, Elise Sargeant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Believing that terrorist grievances are valid can strengthen the legitimacy of a terrorist organisation. As countering terrorism is high on political agendas worldwide, understanding the antecedents of such beliefs may spotlight how some terrorist ideals come to be validated. Using survey data from 800 Muslims living in Australia, this study discerns how social-psychological processes may shape beliefs that Islamic terrorist grievances are valid. Specifically, we examine how stigmatisation and social identity are associated with Muslims’ perceptions that Islamic terrorists have valid grievances. We find that social identity can moderate the effect of feeling stigmatised on the belief that terrorist grievances are valid. Theoretical and policy implications of this research are discussed.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)209-227
JournalJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

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