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Josef Korbel School Professor Receives Kanishka Project Grant

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Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and Laura Dugan of the University of Maryland, were awarded funding from the Government of Canada to expand the Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE) database to Canada.

The GATE database, one of the many projects underway in the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School, is the most comprehensive source of information on how governments respond on a day-to-day basis to terrorist violence. In the case of Canada, data will be collected from 1987-2013 and analyzed to assess the effects of different Canadian government actions on terrorist attacks during this period.

Chenoweth and Dugan began the GATE project intending to collect data solely on counterterrorism policies, but widened the scope of the data collection process to include all government actions aimed at constituent populations from which terrorist groups emerge. A pilot project on Israel was completed in 2012 and found that between 1987 and 2004, Israeli policies and actions that encouraged and rewarded refrain from terrorist acts were more successful in reducing terrorism than policies focused on punishment. The study was the first to empirically evaluate the potential of conciliatory tactics in reducing terrorism.

Funding for the expansion of the GATE database to include Canada was provided as part of the Kanishka Project Contribution Program, a multi-year investment from the Government of Canada in terrorism-focused research. The Kanishka Project is named after the Air India Flight 182 plane that was bombed on June 23, 1985, killing 329 people, most of them Canadians. Research supported by the project is intended to improve Canada's ability to counter terrorism and violent extremism within its borders and abroad.