Blackwell, Evan Alexander - The fading siren call: How the Islamic State’s territorial decline has reshaped its propaganda con...

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This thesis has been submitted to the Library for purposes of graduation, but needs to be audited for technical details related to publication in order to be approved for inclusion in the Library collection.
Term: 
Spring 2018
Degree: 
M.A.
Degree type: 
Thesis
Department: 
School for International Studies
Faculty: 
Arts and Social Sciences
Senior supervisor: 
Tamir Moustafa
Co-supervisor, if any: 
Jeffrey Checkel
Thesis title: 
The fading siren call: How the Islamic State’s territorial decline has reshaped its propaganda content
Given Names: 
Evan Alexander
Surname: 
Blackwell
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.
Keywords: 
ISIS; Islamic State; Propaganda; Radicalization; Violent Extremism; Terrorism
Total pages: 
225