St. Bonaventure University psychology professor Dr. Robin Maria Valeri is the editor of two new books offering fresh perspectives on the study of hate crimes and terrorism.
“Hate Crimes: Typology, Motivations, and Victims” was co-edited with Dr. Kevin Borgeson, associate professor of criminal justice at Salem State University, and published by Carolina Academic Press.Valeri and Borgeson are also the editors of a new book examining the beliefs, actions and impact of American-based terrorists and terror organizations. “Terrorism in America” was published in May by Routledge.
The book “Hate Crimes,” with separate chapters on LGBT, race, religion, and gender motivated hate crimes, focuses on the various targets of these crimes and examines the theories and motivations that drive perpetrators to commit these acts of hate. To address the increase in hate crimes occurring on college campuses and in cyberspace, the book also includes chapters on campus hate crimes and virtual hate.
Valeri and Borgeson and their contributors draw on theories from criminology, psychology and sociology to explore the ideologies of hatemongers and extremist groups.
Although the books are geared toward criminal justice, psychology and sociology students, professors, and practitioners in those fields, Valeri said the texts have a broader interest.
“Because of the growing tide of intolerance, hate related violence, and terrorism in the United States as well as in many regions around the world, people want to understand why people hate and how that hate erupts into violence,” said Valeri. “For this reason, we, as well as our contributing authors, tried to make these books approachable to anyone.”
Hate crimes are one of the fastest growing social problems in America. Valeri noted that, “Donald Trump’s intolerant and prejudicial messages have been associated with an increase in hate crimes as well as an increase in bullying and hate incidents at schools and universities.”
Offering a fresh perspective on the changing face of terror attacks, “Terrorism in America” focuses on domestic groups, examining the beliefs, actions and impacts of American-based terrorists and terror organizations. Valeri and Borgeson and their contributors draw on theories from criminology, psychology and sociology to explore the ideologies of right-wing, left-wing, and extremist religious groups — how and why they convert followers, recruit financially, and take extreme action against others.
A core text for domestic terrorism courses and a supplement for any counterterrorism or homeland security course, “Terrorism in America” brings its singular focus to the growth and evolution of terrorism in the United States.
Valeri said that in order to effectively combat terrorists and terrorist organizations, an understanding of their motivations, beliefs and goals is required.
“Our book discusses why someone in the United States would become inspired by the beliefs or extremist ideologies of terrorist groups in the United States or abroad and examines the strategies used by these groups to recruit adherents and convert them to their cause,” she said.
Valeri has researched, written and presented at professional conferences on hate groups and terrorism, including presentations on “The State of the Islamic State: From Physical World to Virtual Reality” and “Religiously Motivated Hate Crimes Against Veiled Women.” Her book “Skinhead History, Identity, and Culture,” co-authored with Borgeson, was released in fall 2017. Her other research interests include social influencers and the internet and social media.
Valeri joined the St. Bonaventure faculty in 1994. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Syracuse University and bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
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