New Publication by BUCSIS Staff

22 May 2023

BUCSIS are pleased to announce that Dr Ian Stanier, along with Dr Jordan Nunan, have published a new academic article examining the diverse range of motivations associated with UK domestic extremist informants. The paper introduces a new framework for identifying Informant/agent motivations to cooperate and in doing so builds on and develops the Cold War MICE framework.

Dr Stanier and Dr Nunan’s article holds that understanding a potential informant’s motivation can lay the foundation for managing the risks and opportunities associated with the informant-handler relationship and operational deployments. The present research explored the self-disclosed and handler-assessed motivations of U.K. informants authorized to report against domestic extremists.

Informants reported being motivated overwhelmingly by both ideological and financial considerations. Those reporting on right-wing domestic extremism primarily reported for financial reasons, while those reporting on left-wing extremism did so primarily for ideological reasons. The findings also revealed that motivation is neither one dimensional nor unchangeable, with most informants declaring financial and ideological reasons for informing. Handlers were accurate at identifying informants’ primary motivation, with a minority of the handler assessments revealing a perceived change after a six-month period.

By designing recruitment approaches around ideological and financial motivational hooks, law enforcement and intelligence agencies may increase the probability of recruitment success, as well as enhance both the effectiveness and longevity of their informant-handler relationship.

Read the journal article.