Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dustin Osborne

Committee Members

Bradley Edwards, Jennifer Pealer


Research on hate crime has tended to utilize sociological frameworks to best explain the incidence of such offending, but little research has been conducted to determine whether political factors may play a role. Although Olzak (1990) touched upon the relationship between racial violence and third-party politics during the American Progressive era (1882-1914), the research did not fully articulate how political competition may influence the commission of hate crime. The current study seeks to fill this gap, while also extending concepts associated with social disorganization theory and the defended communities perspective. It does so by utilizing a longitudinal research design to assess the impact of theoretical predictors and political competition measures on hate crime prevalence in counties across three states (Tennessee, Virginia & West Virginia) over a seven-year span (2010-2016).

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.