Library

Welcome to VOX-Pol’s online Library, a research and teaching resource, which collects in one place a large volume of publications related to various aspects of violent online political extremism.

Our searchable database contains material in a variety of different formats including downloadable PDFs, videos, and audio files comprising e-books, book chapters, journal articles, research reports, policy documents and reports, and theses.

All open access material collected in the Library is easy to download. Where the publications are only accessible through subscription, the Library will take you to the publisher’s page from where you can access the material.

We will continue to add more material as it becomes available with the aim of making it the most comprehensive online Library in this field.

If you have any material you think belongs in the Library—whether your own or another authors—please contact us at onlinelibrary@voxpol.eu and we will consider adding it to the Library. It is also our aim to make the Library a truly inclusive multilingual facility and we thus welcome contributions in all languages.

Featured

Full Listing

TitleYearAuthorTypeLinks
The Devil's Long Tail: Religious and Other Radicals in the Internet Marketplace
2014 Stevens, D. and O’Hara, K. Book
This book is concerned with the links or relationships between religious radicalism, violent extremism and the Internet.
Radicalisation In The Digital Era: The Use of the Internet in 15 Cases of Terrorism and Extremism
2014 von Behr, I., Reding, A., Edwards, C. and Gribbon, L. Report
This study explores how the internet is used by individuals in the process of their radicalisation. It is based on primary data drawn from a variety of sources: evidence presented at trial, computer registries of convicted terrorists, interviews with convicted terrorists and extremists, as well as police senior investigative officers responsible for terrorist investigations.
Countering the Appeal of Extremism Online
2014 Briggs, R. and Feve, S. Policy
This Policy Briefing was commissioned by the Danish government and addresses various methods for tackling online extremism. It draws on discussions which took place at a Policy Planners Network (PPN) meeting held with a range of relevant stakeholders that took place in Copenhagen in June 2013.
Sub-Saharan African Terrorist Groups’ Use of the Internet
2014 Bertram, S. and Ellison, K. Journal
This article presents the results of a study which measured the web presence of terrorist groups active in Sub Saharan Africa. It also explores the relationship between web technology availability and adoption by terrorist groups and looks at how differentiating between web publishing technologies used by terrorist groups can further develop the study of terrorist cultures and communities online.
Differential Online Exposure to Extremist Content and Political Violence: Testing the Relative Strength of Social Learning and Competing Perspectives
2014 Pauwels, L. and Schils, N. Journal
The present study applies Social Learning (Differential Association) Theory to the explanation of political violence, focusing on exposure to extremist content through
new social media (NSM) and controlling for key variables derived from rival theories. Data are gathered using (a) a paper-and-pencil study among high school students, and (b) a web survey targeting youths between 16 and 24 years old. A total of 6020 respondents form the dataset. Binary logistic regression is used to analyze
the data. Results show that even when controlling for background variables, strain variables, personality characteristics, moral values, and peer influences, the
statistical association between measures of extremism through NSM (ENSM) and self-reported political violence remains significant and fairly constant. The most persistent effects are found for those measures where individuals actively seek out extremist content on the Internet, as opposed to passive and accidental encounters
using NSM. Furthermore, offline differential associations with racist and delinquent peers are also strongly and directly related to self-reported political violence, as are
some mechanisms from rival perspectives. This indicates that political violence can only partially be explained by social learning and suggests that the impact
of ENSM is mediated by real-world associations and that the offline world has to be taken into account.
The Dark Side of Online Activism: Swedish Right-Wing Extremist Video Activism on YouTube
2014 Ekman, M. Journal
In recent years, an emerging body of work, centred on specific communicative forms used in facilitating collective and connective action, have contributed to greater understanding of how digital communication relates to social mobilisation. Plenty of these studies highlight the progressive potentiality of digital communication. However, undemocratic actors also utilise the rapid advancement in digital technology. This article explores the online video activism of extreme right-wing groups in Sweden. It analyses more than 200 clips on YouTube, produced by five right-wing extremist organisations. The study shows that the extreme right deploy video activism as a strategy of visibility to mobilise and strengthen activists. Moreover, the groups attempt to alter the perception of (historically-rooted) socio-political identi- ties of the extreme right. Furthermore, YouTube becomes a political arena in which action repertoires and street politics are adapted to the specific characteristics of online video activism. Finally, video activism could be understood as an aestheticisation of politics.
A Spatial Analysis Of Boko Haram And Al-Shabaab References In Social Media In Sub- Saharan Africa
2014 Rodriguez Jr., R.M. MA Thesis
This thesis describes the role that social media can play in showing how a terrorist organization can impact people’s conversation via Twitter. The two groups that this thesis focusses on are Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. We present a new approach to how we can look into how terrorist organization can be analyzed and see what kind of impacts they may have over different cultures. The process used in researching and writing this thesis is we conducted literature search of the social media phenomenon and what social media can provide. We look to build on research by using the social media phenomenon to find what types of impacts terrorist organizations may have over cultures along with seeing how a terrorist event can have an impact over people on social media. This thesis hopes to expand on previous research on the academic uses for social media, as well as add to the expanding role that social media can be used for intelligence purposes.
Three Essays on International Cyber Threats: Target Nation Characteristics, International Rivalry, and Asymmetric Information Exchange
2014 Mauslein, J. A. PhD Thesis
As the Internet is progressively integrated into industrial and defense-related networks around the globe, it is becoming increasing important to understand how state and sub-state groups can use Internet vulnerabilities as a conduit of attack. The current social science literature on cyber threats is largely dominated by descriptive, U.S.-centric research. While this scholarship is important, the findings are not generalizable and fail to address the global aspects of network vulnerabilities. As a result, this dissertation employs a unique dataset of cyber threats from around the world, spanning from 1990 to 2011. This dataset allows for three diverse empirical studies to be conducted. The first study investigates the political, social, and economic characteristics that increase the likelihood of a state being targeted for cyber threats. The results show that different state characteristics are likely to influence the forms of digital attack targeting. For example, states that experience increases in GDP per capita and military size are more likely to be targeted for cyber attacks. Inversely, states that experience increases in GDP per capita and those that are more democratic are less likely to be targeted for cyber terrorism. The second study investigates the role that international rivalries play in cyber threat targeting. The results suggest that states in rivalries may have more reason to strengthen their digital security, and rival actors may be cautious about employing serious, threatening forms of cyber activity against foes because of concerns about escalation. The final study, based upon the crisis bargaining theory, seeks to determine if cyber threat targeting decreases private information asymmetry and therefore decreases conflict participation. Empirical results show that the loss of digital information via cyber means may thus illicit a low intensity threat or militarized action by a target state, but it also simultaneously increases the likelihood that a bargain may be researched, preventing full scale war by reducing the amount of private information held between parties.
Big Data Ethics
2014 Richards, N.M. and King, J.H. Journal
We are on the cusp of a “Big Data” Revolution, in which increasingly large datasets are mined for important predictions and often surprising insights. The predictions and decisions this revolution will enable will transform our society in ways comparable to the Industrial Revolution. We are now at a critical moment; big data uses today will be sticky and will settle both default norms and public notions of what is “no big deal” regarding big data predictions for years to come.
This paper argues that big data, broadly defined, is producing increased powers of institutional awareness and power that require the development of a Big Data Ethics. We are building a new digital society, and the values we build or fail to build into our new digital structures will define us. Critically, if we fail to balance the human values that we care about, like privacy, confidentiality, transparency, identity and free choice with the compelling uses of big data, our Big Data Society risks abandoning these values for the sake of innovation and expediency.
Home-Grown Jihadism in Italy: Birth, Development and Radicalization Dynamics
2014 Vidino, L. Book
This study aims only at analysing the dynamics of jihadist radicalisation in Italy. It is not meant to be a study of Islam or of the Italian Muslim community. Rather, it describes a phenomenon that, in Italy as in any other Western country, affects a statistically insignificant percentage of the Muslim population. Throughout Europe, jihadism is a fringe phenomenon, much debated but affecting only a few isolated individuals within largely peaceful Muslim communities.
Pathways to Violent Extremism in the Digital Era
2013 Edwards, C. and Gribbon, L. Journal
The Internet is often singled out as the key means through which extremists and terrorists are radicalised. Yet, argue Charlie Edwards and Luke Gribbon, research thus far has fallen short of unearthing the actual mechanisms through which this radicalisation takes place. Using examples from a wider study, they explore different ways in which individuals have used the Internet in their processes of radicalisation and point out that policy-makers and researchers need to focus their efforts on understanding not merely the content that is available online, but the ways in which this content is used in the process of radicalisation.
Now on Twitter, Facebook: Jihadi Media Foundation Fursan Al-Balagh
2013 Al-Hadj, M. Report
Media foundations connected to jihadi groups and jihad-supporting organizations, which once released their productions – videos, statements, and more – over jihadi forums, have turned to social media websites, mainly Facebook and Twitter, because of these forums' inability to provide reliable means for communication, interaction, and publication due to constant and often lengthy disruption of their online presence. This report discusses official and unofficial jihadi media foundations' presence on Facebook and Twitter, and identifies the foundations' accounts and provide background information regarding their affiliation and activities.
Defending an Open, Global, Secure and Resilient Internet
2013 Council on Foreign Relations, US Policy
A balkanized Internet beset by hostile cyber-related activities raises a host of questions and problems for the U.S. government, American corporations, and American citizens. The Council on Foreign Relations launched this Task Force to define the scope of this rapidly developing issue and to help shape the norms, rules, and laws that should govern the Internet. This is the report published by the Task Force.
Tweeting for the Caliphate: Twitter as the New Frontier for Jihadist Propaganda
2013 Prucha, N. and Fisher, A. Journal
This article discusses the emergence of jihadist social media strategies, explains how the Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) has used Twitter to disseminate content, and analyzes content shared by JN. Using an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of jihadist propaganda, this article demonstrates how jihadist groups are using Twitter to disseminate links to video content shot on the battlefield in Syria and posted for mass consumption on YouTube.
Online Radicalization Myths and Realities
2013 New American Foundation Video
90 minute panel discussion on the myths and realities of online radicalisation chaired by the New America Foundation in collaboration with the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Originally published by the New America Foundation on 29 May 2013
Uncovering the Wider Structure of Extreme Right Communities Spanning Popular Online Networks
2013 O’Callaghan, D., Greene, D., Conway, M., Carthy, J. and Cunningham, P. Article
Recent years have seen increased interest in the online presence of extreme right groups. Although originally composed of dedicated websites, the online extreme right milieu now spans multiple networks, including popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Ideally therefore, any contemporary analysis of online extreme right activity requires the consideration of multiple data sources, rather than being restricted to a single platform. We investigate the potential for Twitter to act as one possible gateway to communities within the wider online network of the extreme right, given its facility for the dissemination of content. A strategy for representing heterogeneous network data with a single homogeneous network for the purpose of community detection is presented, where these inherently dynamic communities are tracked over time. We use this strategy to discover and analyse persistent English and German language extreme right communities.
Tom Kean Discusses Online Radicalization
2013 Kean, T. Video
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings Bipartisan Policy Center Homeland Security Project co-chair and former Governor Tom Kean, a 9/11 Commission co-chair, talks to BBC World News about the dangers of online radicalisation. Originally published by the BBC on 26 April 2013
Who Matters Online: Measuring influence, evaluating content and countering violent extremism in online social networks
2013 Berger, J.M. and Strathearn, B. Report
It is relatively easy to identify tens of thousands of social media users who have an interest in violent ideologies, but very difficult to figure out which users are worth watching. For students of extremist movements and those working to counter violent extremism online, deciphering the signal amid the noise can prove incredibly daunting. This paper sets out a first step in solving that problem. The authors have devised a scoring system to find out which social media accounts within a specific extremist circle were most influential and most prone to be influenced (a tendency we called exposure).
Current Status Of Military And Technology-Related Subsections On Top Jihadi Forums
2013 Khayat, M. Report
Jihadis have long shared military-related information and expertise on top jihadi forums. Recently, much of that information has been circulated on the various social media outlets, as well. The shared information varies, from original content to translations, summaries, and recommended reading of non-Arabic material. Contrary to the common notion that jihadis are suspicious of, and avoiding circulating, any material originating from "enemy" sources, jihadis visiting military and technology sections on top jihadi forums in fact thrive on a broad base of information, especially information originating with "enemy" sources. This report provides an overview of military and technology-related subsections on the main jihadi forums.
Turning Away From the Truth: Critique Of Hamami
2013 Al-Muhajir, A.H. Lecture
Demystifying the Abu Mansur Saga