Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Jihadist Media Networks and Virtual Propaganda in the Russian Cyberspace
by Sweet, Julia I., Ph.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School - Newark, 2020, 413; 27961198
Abstract (Summary)

This study marks the first attempt in Western scholarship to analyze the evolution of Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups’ and the Islamic State’s online branding in the Russian Federation, trying to explain how radicals’ sporadic activities have been transformed into recognizable brands and how to counter terrorist branding. It relies on products that are directly produced and presented on the Russian part of the Internet in 2013–2017. The study scrutinizes the set of issues related to the presence of radical groups in cyberspace through the prism of brand identity theory, framing Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as corporations that have created and advanced their global brands in order to disseminate their products across the world. Both groups embraced a set of sub-brands, however, the Al-Qaeda network produced a larger number of local brands with well-articulated identities compared to the Islamic State network. The study reveals that while the ISIS network focused on the promotion of its global brand through domestic outlets, the Al-Qaeda network advanced local sub-brands, overshadowing its master brand. The research discovered that these organizations practiced a different approach to their networking, Internet presence, and production strategy. Further research is needed on online fundraising campaigns conducted by radicals as well as the limits of censorship software.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Samuels, Norman
Commitee: Kuetting, Gabriela, O'Meara, Richard, Galeotti, Mark
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School - Newark
Department: Global Affairs
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Regional Studies, Mass communications, Web Studies
Keywords: Cybersecurity, Islamic State, Online propaganda, Russia, Social media, Terrorists
Publication Number: 27961198
ISBN: 9798662449817
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