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.

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TitleYearAuthorTypeLinks
Worldwide Online Jihad versus the Gaming Industry Reloaded – Ventures of the Web
2010Prucha, N.Chapter
[Chapter in, "New Approaches to the Analysis of Jihadism: On and Offline", Rüdiger Lohlker (ed.)] Jihadism has been an important issue of public discussions since 9/11. Internet media have been used by Jihadis as means of communication, propaganda, recruitment, and even training purposes. In this volume, the processes of interaction on Jihadi internet sites are analysed. Particular attention lays on the mechanisms of spread of propaganda via the internet by diverse technical means. The process of transformation of Islamic knowledge into Jihadi knowledge, the rhetorics of videos, the development of South Asian Jihadi organisations and some conceptual issues are discussed.
Notes On The Jihadists’ Motivation For Suicide-Operations
2010Prucha, N.Journal
Der Artikel bietet anhand der Rhetorik ausgewählter arabischer Quellen des Dschihad einen Einblick in die Motivation und die Definition sogenannter Glaubensbekenner-Operationen. Wesentlicher Bestandteil ist das Grundverständnis, dass solche Arten von Operationen rechtlich erlaubt sind und keinen Selbstmord darstellen. Diese Operationen werden von Gott im Jenseits belohnt und sind integraler historischer Teil der militärisch- operativen Vorgehensweise früher Muslime im Denken dschihadistischer Gelehrter, die diese Taktiken in die Gegenwart übertragen und entsprechend sanktionieren. Anhand der im Internet auf einschlägigen Foren und Webseiten veröffentlichten Interviews, Videos und Statements nach der Glaubensbekenner-Operation des palästinensisch-stämmigen Abu Dujana gegen eine von der CIA betriebene „Forward Operations Base“ in Khost, Afghanistan, wird der Artikel nach einem theoretischen Teil mit pragmatischen Argumenten durch die Dschihadisten abgeschlossen.
Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics
2010United States Institute of PeaceReport
In this report a team of scholars critically assesses both the “cyberutopian” and “cyberskeptic” perspectives on the impact of new media on political movements. The authors propose a more complex approach that looks at the role of new media in contentious politics from five interlocking levels of analysis: individual transformation, intergroup relations, collective action, regime policies, and external attention.
UNODC Digest Of Terrorist Cases
2010United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)Policy
The judicial cases featured in this Digest cover relevant aspects of the international legal regime against terrorism. It provides a comparative analysis of national statutory frame- works for terrorism prosecutions, and it identifies legal issues and pitfalls encountered in investigating and adjudicating relevant offences. In addition, it identifies practices related to specialized investigative and prosecutorial techniques. It also addresses the links between terrorism and other forms of crime (like organized crime, the trafficking of drugs, people and arms), as well as how to disrupt terrorist financing.
Hate Speech or ‘Reasonable Racism’? The Other in Stormfront
2009Meddaugh, P.M. and Kay, J.Journal
We use the construct of the “other” to explore how hate operates rhetorically within the virtual conclave of Stormfront, credited as the first hate Web site. Through the Internet, white supremacists create a rhetorical vision that resonates with those who feel marginalized by contemporary political, social, and economic forces. However, as compared to previous studies of on-line white supremacist rhetoric, we show that Stormfront discourse appears less virulent and more palatable to the naive reader. We suggest that Stormfront provides a “cyber transition” between traditional hate speech and “reasonable racism,” a tempered discourse that emphasizes pseudo- rational discussions of race, and subsequently may cast a wider net in attracting audiences.
Comparison of Visual Motifs in Jihadi and Cholo Videos on YouTube
2009Weisburd, A.A.Journal
Homegrown Sunni extremists (jihadis) and Latin American street gang members (cholos) represent potential threats to national security. Both groups are known to inhabit the video- sharing website YouTube. Videos representative of each group were selected at random, and the visual motifs in the videos were categorized. Findings suggest similarities and differences between the two groups that may have significance for how practitioners address each threat, and for determining the likelihood that the two groups may begin to work in concert. The portraits that emerge of jihadis and cholos may assist in developing strategies to counter the violence perpetrated by each.
Radical Pluralism and Free Speech in Online Public Spaces: The Case of North Belgian Extreme Right Discourses
2009Cammaerts, B.Journal
Progressive political movements and activists are not the only ones appropriating Web 2.0 as a way to construct independent public spaces and voice counter- hegemonic discourses. By looking at the other extreme of (post-)fascist movements, it will be shown that the internet also gives rise to anti-public spaces, voicing hatred and essentialist discourses. In this article, discourses of hate produced by North- Belgian (post-)fascist movements and activists will be analysed. Theoretically the analysis is informed by radical pluralism and the limits of freedom of speech in a strong democracy. The cases presented challenge the limits of freedom of speech and of radical pluralism and bring us to question whether being a racist is a democratic right, whether freedom of speech includes opinions and views that challenge basic democratic values.
Exploring Stormfront: A Virtual Community of the Radical Right
2009Bowman-Grieve, L.Journal
In considering how terrorist movements use the Internet, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we must move beyond predominantly descriptive overviews of the contents of websites to examine in more detail the notion of virtual communities of support and the functions of these for their members. Virtual communities in support of terrorist movements are real social spaces where people interact on a regular basis to disseminate their views, share their knowledge, and encourage each other to become increasingly supportive of movements that use terrorism to achieve their goals. Taken from a larger body of comparative qualitative research investigating the content and function of discourses created in virtual communities in support of terrorism, this article presents a thematic analysis of “Stormfront,” a virtual community of the radical right.
The Next Generation of Terror
2009Sageman, M.Article
The world's most dangerous jihadists no longer answer to al Qaeda. The terrorists we should fear most are self-recruited wannabes who find purpose in terror and comrades on the Web. This new generation is even more frightening and unpredictable than its predecessors, but its evolution just may reveal the key to its demise.
Dimensions in Countering Ideological Support for Terrorism
2009Cross, S.Report
Summary Report on conference organized by the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Cooperation with the Royal Jordanian National Defence College.
The Dark Side of the Web: Italian Right-Wing Extremist Groups and the Internet
2009Caiani, M. and Parenti, L.Journal
Focusing on extreme-right organisations in Italy, this article addresses the specific use of the Internet by extremist groups and its potential role for the formation of collective identity, organisational contacts and mobilisation. The analysis includes both political parties and non-party organisations, even violent groups. Through the combination of Social Network Analysis (SNA) of web linkages amongst approximately 100 organisations, with a formalised content analysis of those websites, we argue that various forms of usage of the Internet by right-wing organisations are indeed on the rise,
with an increase not only in the number of extremist websites but also in the exploitation of the Internet for diffusing propaganda, promoting ‘virtual communities’ of debate, fundraising, and organising and mobilising political campaigns. The various specificities of the usage of the Internet by extreme right organisations are demonstrated and linked to offline reality.
Combining Social Network Analysis and Sentiment Analysis to Explore the Potential for Online Radicalisation
2009Bermingham, A., Conway, M., McInerney, L., O’Hare, N. and Smeaton, A.F.Article
The increased online presence of jihadists has raised the possibility of individuals being radicalised via the Internet. To date, the study of violent radicalisation has focused on dedicated jihadist websites and forums. This may not be the ideal starting point for such research, as participants in these venues may be described as “already madeup minds”. Crawling a global social networking platform, such as YouTube, on the other hand, has the potential to unearth content and interaction aimed at radicalisation of those with little or no apparent prior interest in violent jihadism. This research explores whether such an approach is indeed fruitful. We collected a large dataset from a group within YouTube that we identified as potentially having a radicalising agenda. We analysed this data using social network analysis and sentiment analysis tools, examining the topics discussed and what the sentiment polarity (positive or negative) is towards these topics. In particular, we focus on gender differences in this group of users, suggesting most extreme and less tolerant views among female users.
The Internet Rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan: A Case Study in Web Site Community Building Run Amok
2009Bostdorff, D.M.Journal
Many scholars have praised the Internet as a locale where positive community building takes place. Conversely,this study examines 23 KKK web sites as an exemplar of how groups may engage in community building of a most egregious sort. Through appeals to white masculinity and, on some web sites, segmented appeals to women and to youth and children, Klan web sites attempt to create community that is unified by its opposition to minority groups, particularly Jews. The angry style of Klan discourse, which is compatible with the rhetorical conventions of the Web, discourages dissenting points of view while inflaming potential supporters. Moreover,Klan rhetoric on the Web encourages odious political activity, including acts of violence, at the same time that Klan web sites disavow responsibility for the consequences of their messages.
Relocating the Virtual War
2009Ramsay, G.Journal
Countering Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups’ use of the Internet for both organizational purposes and the dissemination of radical propaganda has frequently been conceptualized in terms of a war in a virtual space. This assumption has led to a distorted understanding of how the Internet is relevant to terrorism, and what methods are appropriate for addressing this. In particular, it has led to an overemphasis on action by governments ‘on’ the Internet. This entails moving the ‘fight’ into a terrain in which it cannot easily be won. Better strategies for counteracting the benefits terrorists draw from the Internet might proceed from instead drawing on governments’ overwhelmingly greater power over matter and physical space, and their ability to shape agendas across the complete spectrum of media.
Terrorism and the Proportionality of Internet Surveillance
2009Brown, I., Douwe, K.Journal
As the Internet has become a mainstream communications mechanism, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have developed new surveillance capabilities and been given new legal powers to monitor its users. These capabilities have been particularly targeted toward terrorism suspects and organizations that have been observed using the Internet for communication, propaganda, research, planning, publicity, fundraising and creating a distributed sense of community. Policing has become increasingly pre-emptive, with a range of activities criminalized as `supporting' or `apologizing for' terrorism. The privacy and non-discrimination rights that are core to the European legal framework are being challenged by the increased surveillance and profiling of terrorism suspects. We argue that their disproportionate nature is problematic for democracy and the rule of law, and will lead to practical difficulties for cross-border cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
Terrorism and the Proportionality of Internet Surveillance
2009Brown, I., Douwe, K.Journal
As the Internet has become a mainstream communications mechanism, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have developed new surveillance capabilities and been given new legal powers to monitor its users. These capabilities have been particularly targeted toward terrorism suspects and organizations that have been observed using the Internet for communication, propaganda, research, planning, publicity, fundraising and creating a distributed sense of community. Policing has become increasingly pre-emptive, with a range of activities criminalized as `supporting' or `apologizing for' terrorism. The privacy and non-discrimination rights that are core to the European legal framework are being challenged by the increased surveillance and profiling of terrorism suspects. We argue that their disproportionate nature is problematic for democracy and the rule of law, and will lead to practical difficulties for cross-border cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, 2009
2009Home Office, United KingdomPolicy
The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, 2009
Online Networks of the Italian and German Extreme Right
2009Caiani, M. and Wagemann, C.Journal
This article applies instruments of social network analysis to a study of communication networks within the Italian and German extremist right. Web links between organizational websites are used as a proxy. Indeed, extremist groups increasingly use and abuse the Internet for their propaganda and their recruitment, and also for their internal communication. The analysis includes both political parties and non-party organizations, even violent groups. In a macro-, micro-, and meso-analysis, the various specificities of the two national political sectors are demonstrated and linked to the offline reality. The Italian network appears to be very fragmented, highly diversified, and difficult to be coordinated (‘policephalous network’), whereas the German network is denser and much more concentrated on a few central actors (‘star structure’). These differences are mainly due to political opportunity structures in the two countries. Additionally, whereas the Italian network structure allows for the construction of a typology of sub-groups of organizations, the German communicative structure seems to be more erratic and less coordinated. The article also highlights the function of websites which are not related to any specific group. Indeed, these are of special importance for the far right as a political arena which is usually banned from the dominant societal discourses (if not even legally forbidden). Considering this, new modes of communication can be of greater use for extremist groups than for more traditional political actors.
How Social Media Outlets Impact Digital Terrorism and Hate
2009Cooper, A.Lecture
An analysis of how social media outlets impact digital terrorism and hate
Countering Online Radicalisation: A Strategy for Action
2009Neumann, P. and Stevens, T.Report
Efforts to counter online radicalisation must view new technologies and modes of interaction not as a threat but as an opportunity. Relying on government alone is not sufficient. It is vital to capitalise upon the potential contributions of all stakeholders, including internet companies and internet users.