HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Academic Dean for Faculty Engagement
Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment


Although political violence has proven to be difficult for governments to manage, predict or control, previous research on the impact of relevant federal government actions and US presidential rhetoric on terrorist attacks and hate crimes demonstrates that what the US government does matters in ways that are both expected and unexpected. In the US, government counterterrorism strategies changed rapidly in response to the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the US. The Bush administration formed a new executive department, centralised intelligence agencies, invested in tangible counterterrorism measures, implemented two invasions and occupations, and spoke publicly about terrorism on a near-daily basis. Yet much has changed since that research, as the US has since elected a president whose presidential campaign relied upon espousing antagonism towards Muslims, immigrants and other minority groups. Further, President Trump’s administration has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to isolate and suppress Muslims as a strategy to combat Islamist extremism in contrast to previous administrations’ more cooperative approaches. This article considers what existing research tells us about whether and how the different actions of the Trump administration may fuel both Jihadi and far-right extremism.


Fisher, Daren G., Laura Dugan, and Erica Chenoweth. "Does Us Presidential Rhetoric Affect Asymmetric Political Violence?" Critical Studies on Terrorism 12.1 (January 2019): 132-150.