About Me

I am a Professor at American University with a joint appointment in the School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service. My research seeks to understand the cross-national causes and consequences of political violence. I have published numerous peer-reviewed articles across academic disciplines, including political science, economics, criminology, and international studies.

Some of my research was supported by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism START, where I am an Investigator and Research Affiliate. I have current research supported by NCITE and the National Science Foundation.
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Foreign Fighter Mobilization: YPG Volunteers in their Own Words

Josh Farrell-Molloy, David Malet, Joseph K. Young

Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

Aiding War: Foreign Aid and the Intensity of Violent Armed Conflict

Michael Findley, Joseph K. Young, Daniel Strandow, Olgahan Cat

International Studies Quarterly, vol. 67(3), 2023

Target them with What? Why States Choose Different COIN Strategies for Different Insurgent Groups

Victor Asal, Daren Fisher, Joseph K. Young

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol. 46(9), 2023, pp. 1766-1783

Tugging on Superman's Cape: Why Some Insurgencies Are Targets of Foreign Militaries

Victor Asal, Joseph K Young, Nakissa Jahanbani, Suzanne Weedon Levy

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol. 46(10), Routledge, 2021, pp. 1-25

Choosing to fight, choosing to die: Examining how ISIS foreign fighters select their operational roles

Tyler Evans, Daniel J Milton, Joseph K Young

International Studies Review, vol. 23, Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 509-531

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Hidden Costs of Security Project

The purpose of this project is to develop a baseline understanding of how practitioners are affected by exposure to violence and the implications this may have on the resilience of and future development of the homeland security workforce.


School of Public Affairs

Experimenting with Violence

SPA 300

In this course, students read about classic experiments, contemporary experiments, and cutting-edge experiments, with an emphasis on violence both as a treatment and outcome.

Causes of Terrorism and Political Violence

JLC 470, JLC 670

The courses examines the causes and consequences of terrorism and other forms of political violence - exploring both terror by governments as well as by opposition parties and movements.

Conduct of Inquiry II

SPA 613

This is the second part of a methods sequence that aims to provide students with the tools to be researchers. The main focus is on bivariate and multiple regression and the underlying assumptions of those models.

School of International Service

Voices of Terror

SIS 419

This course investigates the causes and consequences of terrorism through first person accounts of participation in terrorism. We examine prominent contemporary and historical terror campaigns through the lens of the people involved.

Introduction to International Studies Research

SIS 206

This course will introduce you to a range of methodologies employed in international affairs research and will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to design, conduct, and present an original scholarly research project.

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