The fading siren call: How the Islamic State’s territorial decline has reshaped its propaganda content

Date created: 
2018-04-02
Identifier: 
etd10614
Keywords: 
ISIS
Islamic State
Propaganda
Radicalization
Violent Extremism
Terrorism
Abstract: 

Given that the Islamic State’s propaganda was heavily rooted in notions of military victory, territorial expansion, and utopian statehood, this thesis asks how the group changed its messaging content when it was faced with extensive territorial losses. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, it tracks changes in the thematic and narrative content the Islamic State’s two flagship English-language magazines, Dabiq and Rumiyah. It finds that the group’s propaganda changed substantially, particularly in content related to the promotion of home-grown terrorism and its self-declared ‘Caliphate’. Utilizing novel theoretical frameworks, this study assesses how changes in the Islamic State’s propaganda undermined its effectiveness as a tool for radicalization and recruitment. The thesis finds strong evidence to suggest the Islamic State’s propaganda has become less effective at tapping into critical drivers of radicalization.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Tamir Moustafa
Jeffrey Checkel
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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