Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Jeffrey A. Gruenewald

Committee Member

Casey T. Harris

Second Committee Member

Grant R. Drawve


Collective Violence, Conjunctive Analysis of Case Configurations, Criminology, Environmental Criminology, Political Protests, Situational Crime Prevention


Despite extensive sociological research on the broader causes of collective violence, there has been much less research on the situated nature of more recent violence committed by individuals attending protests and rallies, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and the 2021 Stop the Steal rally at the U.S. Capitol. To fill this gap in research, I draw from the tenets of Environmental Criminology and the Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) perspective to quantitatively examine individual-level and incident-level risk factors most associated with contemporary forms of collective violence. After exploring situated differences across ideological movements, I ask how do risk factors for protest-related non-violent crimes compare to those of violent protest-related crimes? Data on collective violence events come from the U.S. Protests Database (USPDB), an open-source database that contains information on criminal acts committed at political demonstration events resulting in arrests and formal charges. Bivariate and multivariate analyses examine how individual risk factors, including group identification, use of travel, demographics, weapon(s) use, and levels, and types of media engagement are associated with escalation to protest violence. In addition, Conjunctive Analysis of Case Configurations (“conjunctive analysis”) is used to examine which combinations of situational risk factors are most associated with escalation to protest violence.

Available for download on Thursday, October 17, 2024