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

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
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.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Moustafa, Tamir
Thesis advisor: Checkel, Jeffrey
Member of collection
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etd10614_EBlackwell.pdf 1.34 MB

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