Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Utility of Islamic State’s Internet Media Campaign 
by Spring, Curtis Peter, M.Litt., University of St. Andrews (United Kingdom), 2018, 66; 27724582
Abstract (Summary)

Bolstered by a sophisticated internet media campaign (IMC), Islamic State (IS) conquered vast swathes of territory, declared the existence of a new caliphate, and won the loyalty of large numbers of recruits and supporters around the globe.

This dissertation will explain how IS’ IMC advanced IS’ interests, and it will employ a descriptive analysis methodology to fulfill that function. The use of a descriptive analysis methodology will allow for this dissertation to not only describe and analyse IS’ IMC, but also to explain why that campaign achieved the relative successes that it did. To achieve that explanatory goal, this dissertation will incorporate relevant theory from the fields of political science, psychology, and sociology.

The time period covered in this dissertation will extend from April 2013, when IS first announced that it was operating in Syria, to June 2018, when IS propaganda signalled the group’s reversion to localized insurgency tactics following the loss of nearly all of its territory. Both the content of internet media released by IS during that time period – such as videos, audio recordings, magazines, and news releases – as well as the structures through which IS disseminated media online – such as social media platforms and messaging apps – will be described, analysed, and explained.

This dissertation will demonstrate that IS’ IMC advanced IS’ interests by achieving two distinct goals: the recruitment and mobilization of supporters, and the intimidation of opponents. It will also argue that the structure of the internet – being decentralized and interactive – was a crucial factor in advancing IS’ interests. In reaching these conclusions, this dissertation will synthesize a diverse array of research to offer a comprehensive ‘big picture’ view of IS’ IMC, as well as contribute towards the understanding of how terrorist groups utilize the internet.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
School Location: Scotland
Source: DAI-C 81/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multimedia Communications, International Relations
Keywords: Islamic state, Internet media campaign
Publication Number: 27724582
ISBN: 9781392590294
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