Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, Terrorism and Political Violence, Identity, Qualitative Research Methods


Dr. Windisch's research is grounded upon developmental and life course criminology and a symbolic interactionist perspective. Both theoretical perspectives stress the importance of studying temporal within-individual changes over the life course and how these experiences define the world and influence how individuals interact with others. 

Dr. Windish's research breaks away from approaches limited to specific phases of the extremist’s life course, such as their period of incarceration. Instead, his research emphasizes the accumulation of risk factors (e.g., physical abuse) and life events (e.g., divorce) that occur during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood and how these experiences increase one’s susceptibility to accepting extremist beliefs.

Dr. Windisch is currently working on two projects funded by the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center. The first project examines the nature of electoral violence in the U.S. to establish appropriate criteria to assess the transition from political hate speech to election-motivated violence. The second project aims to identify the most up-to-date domestic terrorism and target violence technologies and datasets that the Department of Homeland Security can provide its counterterrorism workforce.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Windisch, S., Wiedlitzka, S., Olaghere, A. & Jenaway, E. M. (2022). Online Interventions for Reducing Hate Speech and Cyberhate: A Systematic Review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 18(e1243), 1-25.
  • Logan, M., Windisch, S., & Simi, P. (2022). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Violent Extremism: A Comparison of Left-Wing and Right-Wing Extremists. Terrorism and Political Violence.
  • Windisch, S. & Simi P. (2022). More Than a Joke: White Supremacist Humor as a Daily Form of Resistance. Deviant Behavior.
  • Jenaway, E. & Windisch, S. (2022). And the Last Straw Falls: The Cumulative Influence of Disillusionment among Former Viet Cong Insurgents. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.
  • Windisch, S., Simi, P., Blee, K., & DeMichele, M. (2022). “More than Walking Away: Barriers to Disengagement among Former White Supremacist Extremists.” In B. Perry, J. Gruenewald, and R. Scrivens (Eds.), Right-Wing Extremism in Canada and the United States. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Courses Taught

  • CJ 2602: Criminal Justice Statistics
  • CJ 3000: White Supremacy and Domestic Terrorism (Special Topics)
  • CJ 3504: Hate Crimes
  • CJ 8106: Theories of Crime and Deviance
  • CJ 8310: Extremism and Political Violence (Special Topics)

Media Mentions

Steven Windisch feautured in WHYY
via WHYY on November 29, 2023

Steven Windisch feautured in WHYY

By Jason Gravel

Professor Steven Windisch joined WHYY's Studio 2, to discuss hate crimes against Palestinian students in Vermont.