L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



David Webber

David Webber

Associate professor, homeland security and emergency preparedness assistant chair

Scherer Hall, Room 219 Phone: (804) 828-8711 Email: dwebber@vcu.edu


  • Psychology of violent extremism
  • Radicalization and deradicalization
  • Motivation


Ph.D., Social and Cultural Psychology, University of Alberta

M.S., Experimental Psychology, University of Wyoming

B.A., Psychology, University of Wyoming


Terrorism, radicalization, introduction to homeland security and emergency preparedness


Terrorism, the psychological, cultural and social factors of the radicalization process, effectiveness of deradicalization programs, existential threat, social psychology


Dr. Webber conducts theory-driven research on ideological extremism, with a particular focus on violent extremism and terrorism. Along with his colleagues, he has advanced and tested a tripartite theory of radicalization and deradicalization that examines how motivation, social relationships, and ideologies combine to facilitate movement to and away from extremist movements. Webber has been invited on numerous occasions to share his work for academic and practitioner audiences, including prosecutors, law enforcement officers, the US State Department, multiple terrorism research centers, and the Anti-Defamation League. His work has been funded by the US Department of Defense. He has consulted with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in the Hague on numerous research and training projects, including with prison staff who work with terrorist offenders.


Jasko, K., Webber, D., Molinario, E., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2021). Ideological extremism among Syrian refugees is negatively related to intentions to migrate to the West. Psychological Science, 32(9), 1362-1374.

Webber, D., Kruglanski, A., Molinario, E., & Jasko, K. (2020). Ideologies that justify political violence. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences34, 107-111.

Kruglanski, A. W., Webber, D., & Koehler, D. (2019). The radical’s journey: How German Neo-Nazis voyaged to the edge and back. Oxford University Press.

Webber, D., Babush, M., Schori-Eyal, N., Vazeou-Niewenhuis, A., Hettiarachchi, M., Belanger, J. J., … Gelfand, M. J. (2018). The road to extremism: Field and experimental evidence that significance loss-induced need for closure fosters radicalization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 114(2), 270-285.

Webber, D., Chernikova, M., Kruglanski, A. W., Gelfand, M. J., Hettiarachchi, M., Gunaratna, R., ... & Belanger, J. J. (2018). Deradicalizing detained terrorists. Political Psychology39(3), 539-556.