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Lance Hunter, PhD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

Lance Hunter, PhD Lance Hunter, PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science | Augusta University


Dr. Lance Hunter studies the connection between terrorism and political stability in democracies.






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3Qs with Dr. Lance Hunter on terrorism and elections




Hunter is an assistant professor of political science with a background in international relations. His research focuses on how terrorist attacks influence politics in democratic countries and how political decisions within countries affect conflicts worldwide. His work has appeared in journals such as: Journal of Peace Research, Terrorism and Political Violence, Party Politics, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Armed Forces and Society, Conflict, Security and Development, and the International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies. Hunter teaches courses in international relations, security studies, and research methods. He received his PhD in Political Science from Texas Tech University in 2011.

Areas of Expertise (5)



International Relations


Civil Liberties

Affiliations (4)

  • Augusta University Political Science Club : Co-Advisor
  • Augusta University ONE Organization : Advisor
  • Augusta University Cyber Institute: Advisory Committee Member
  • Augusta University Honors Program: Committee Member

Media Appearances (3)

Terrorism Charges for Mass Shooters? Experts Are Divided

The Trace  online


The 15-year-old student accused of fatally shooting his classmates at Michigan’s Oxford High School in November is inching toward a trial to determine his guilt on 24 felony charges. One of them — committing an act of terrorism — has rarely been applied in the context of mass shootings, so the move has reignited a debate over whether such violence should be treated as terrorism in the eyes of the law. Lance Hunter, an associate professor of international relations at Augusta University, said many scholars and policymakers do not consider mass shootings a form of terrorism because they think of them as an expansion of day-to-day criminal activity. “Terrorist acts are viewed more so as hijackings or bombings; novel acts that fall outside of criminal activity,” Hunter said. “I think the action — the shooting versus a bomb — is a large part of how people view it.”

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Local political science professor shares his study on mass shootings

WRDW  tv


There have been more than 200 U.S. mass shootings in 2022, but only a handful of those will be labeled ‘terrorism’. We spoke to a local professor about when mass shootings are classified as acts of terrorism. Dr. Lance Hunter, associate professor in political science, Augusta University. “Taking these mass shootings seriously as potential forms of terrorism when they fit the definition is so important to try and stop them,” he said.

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Was it terrorism? Local expert weighs in on mass shooting in Buffalo

WJBF  tv


The mass shooting that took place in Buffalo on Saturday, is considered a hate crime. But, an expert at Augusta University said it also fits the definition of terrorism. Dr. Lance Hunter is an Associate Professor of Political Science at AU. He spent years researching mass shootings and terrorism, and eventually published his findings. He explained an event must fit three criteria to be considered an act of terror. It must be a violent event, be motivated by radical political, social, or religious ideologies and have a target “enemy” or “other”.

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Answers (2)

Could the Buffalo shooting be a new phase of terrorism here in the United States in particular?

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Should the Buffalo shootings be considered terrorism?

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Articles (5)

Destabilizing effects of terrorism on party system stability

Terrorism and Political Violence

2016 In this work, we surmise that terrorist attacks have important implications for two commonly used measures of party system stability. The results of a pooled, cross-sectional time series analysis confirm our hypothesis: deadly attacks proximate to elections destabilize party systems; in addition, the level of democratic consolidation within states also influences the degree that fatal terrorist attacks affect party system stability.

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Does accountability matter? How electoral systems affect conflict initiation

Conflict, Security & Development

2016 In this study we contend that legislators are more accountable individually in candidate-centred electoral systems which impacts a state’s decision to initiate interstate conflict.

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Military Spending and Electoral Systems: A Reconsideration

Armed Forces & Society

2016 We present a pooled time-series cross-sectional analysis of military spending and electoral institutions and we find that party-based electoral systems, rather than majoritarian ones, foment higher military spending levels—which we attribute to these systems’ predilection for public goods spending.

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Democracy and cyberconflict: how regime type affects state-sponsored cyberattacks

Journal Of Cyber Policy

Dr. Craig Albert, Dr. Lance Hunter, Eric Garrett, Josh Rutland


A large body of research in international relations has focused on the relationship between regime type (i.e., the degree a nation is democratic or authoritarian) and traditional military conflict between states. However, to date, no research has examined how regime type affects conflict in the cyber domain. Thus, we attempt to analyze the effect regime type has on the initiation of state-sponsored cyberattacks. We examine 143 states from 2005 - 2013 utilizing cyber data on known state-sponsored cyberattacks taken from the Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Operations Tracker dataset (CFR-COTD) and economic, political, military, and social data collected by the authors. In conducting a cross-sectional, time series analysis we find that democratic institutions have a pacifying effect on the initiation of state-sponsored cyberattacks.

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Epidemiological intelligence fusion centers: health security and COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic

Taylor & Francis Online

Craig Douglas Albert, Alejandro Amado Baez, Lance Hunter, John Heslen, Josh Rutland


Research on health security has focused on how many different political, economic, social, and health-related factors affect disease containment within states. However, largely missing from this scholarship is an examination of the role public health intelligence plays in limiting the spread of disease. Thus, this study focuses on the effect epidemiological intelligence fusion centers have on disease prevalence. We conduct a case study analysis of the Dominican Republic’s use of epidemiological intelligence fusion centers during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide policy recommendations for other states to follow.

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