The American Political Violence Project

CPOST is engaged in a multi-year effort to understand and track the scope and drivers of support for domestic political violence from the right and left in contemporary America. Led by Robert Pape, professor of political science at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, this research aims to provide a nuanced understanding of “who” supports political violence in America and "why" to know who we are dealing with and create viable solutions for the future.

CPOST's approach is data-driven and non-partisan. To date, it has included:

  • Data collection and analysis of escalation to violence during the George Floyd protests across the 50 largest US cities.
  • Data collection and analysis of the complete set of individuals arrested by the FBI and Washington DC police for offenses related to the storming of the US Capitol.
  • Analysis of the demographics and home county characteristics based on court recordsof those arrested for the Capitol attack.
  • Analysis of statements by defendants charged and prosecuted for their role in the Capitol attack for evidence of motives and remorse.
  • Regular nationally representative surveys of American adults to understand national scope, drivers, and mobilization potential for political violence on the right and left.


Funding for CPOST's American Political Violence Project comes from a variety of sources, including the University of Chicago, grants, foundations, and private donors.