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 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.


Full Listing

Inside the EDL: Populist Politics in a Digital Age
2011 Bartlett, J. and Littler, M. Report
The English Defence League (EDL) is the biggest populist street movement in a generation. Yet the make-up of the group and what its members believe remain a mystery because it has no formal joining procedures or membership list and much of its activity takes place online. The collection of large amounts of data from social media presents new opportunities for social research to understand the relationship between off- and online activity. As more movements combine – and blur – virtual and real protest, these questions will become increasingly urgent and important. These surveys, collected through Facebook using a new methodology, offer new ways forward in exploring this challenge.
Consuming the Jihad: An Enquiry into the Subculture of Internet Jihadism
2011 Ramsay, G. PhD Thesis
As American as Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became the Face of Western Jihad
2011 Meleagrou-Hitchens, A. Report
CSR is pleased to announce the release of its newest report, As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became the Face of Western Jihad, by Research Fellow Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens. This study provides the first forensic analysis of Anwar al-Awlaki’s work, which tracks his ideological path from a supposedly moderate preacher to an al-Qaeda recruiter.
Internet Radicalization - Actual Threat Or Phantom Menace?
2012 Michael, M. J. MA Thesis
Popular opinion expresses fear that accessing radical Islamic content and connecting with extremist networks through Internet functionalities causes radicalization and recruitment to commit terrorist acts. Anecdotal evidence has been used to support this assertion. The opinion assumes the Internet creates a new path that drives radicalization and recruitment. Whether computer-mediated communication (CMC) and Internet functionalities cause individuals to radicalize has not been thoroughly studied. This thesis explores whether a correlation can be found to attribute radicalization to radicalizing content and extremist networks accessed through CMC and Internet functionalities. A framework is used to evaluate vulnerabilities identified by the psychological, sociological and social-psychological elements of radicalization against the radicalization process, personal history, and the presence of radicalizing conventional communication and extremist contact. The analysis finds three cases that may support a conclusion that Internet radicalization is possible; however, the importance of root causes and individual vulnerabilities may have a greater impact. Since some circumstances involving CMC may increase the likelihood of radicalization, the fear of Internet radicalization may be reasonable, but the number of incidents validating that fear makes the threat unlikely and appears more like a phantom menace than a real threat.
Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods and Strategies
2011 Fenstermacher, L. Report
This report represents a distillation of current Social, Behavioural and Economic research findings on violent extremism: What is the cultural basis for violent extremism and radicalization? What motivates individuals and groups to violence, and how is that risk measured? How does our understanding of these findings educate the mitigation of extremism? Can it be prevented or reversed? These and other topics are outlined here to open a forward-looking dialog in the research and policy community that will be crucial to formulating future research direction and for addressing this pressing national concern.
Facebook jihad: A case study of recruitment discourses and strategies targeting a Western female
2011 Torok, R. Article
Recent years has seen a trend towards the increasing specificity of recruitment targets for global jihad. This paper is a case study of the discourses used to recruit a Western female who originally subscribed to an antigovernment, anti-New World Order ideology. Categorising using grounded theory analysis found that female recruiters tapped into the interest of their target subject and then shifted her towards sympathy and commitment to radical Islam. This was achieved through media saturation of Western aggression against Muslims coupled with an ideology that promotes the need to fight and resist. Subject material to which the recruit was directed was carefully controlled and initially deemphasized the Qur’an in favour of mujahedeen narratives and the teachings of Anwar al-Awlaki. Overall, the research supported a sophisticated narrowcasting strategy that was carefully developed primarily by female recruiters.
Empowering Local Partners To Prevent Violent Extremism In The United States
2011 The White House Policy
United States Strategy for Countering Violent Extremism Strategy 2011
Youth Online and at Risk: Radicalisation Facilitated by the Internet
2011 Royal Canadian Mounted Police Report
While the internet provides access to rich educational experiences, great entertainment, and the chance to connect with friends around the clock, it also creates a number of risks that young people, parents, and guardians need to be aware of. There are the commonly known concerns of identity theft, online predators, and cyber-bullying but there is another issue that we need to collectively work to address— Radicalisation to violence. This informational resource strives to increase the awareness of how the internet is being used to radicalise and recruit youth in North America.
Identification And Ranking Of Critical Assets Within An Electrical Grid Under Threat Of Cyber Attack
2011 Boyer, B. R. MA Thesis
This paper examines the ranking of critical assets within an electrical grid under threat of cyber attack. Critical to this analysis is the assumption of zero hour exploits namely, the threat of an immediate attack as soon as a vulnerability is discovered. Modeling shows that over time load fluctuations as well as other system variations will change the importance of each asset in the delivery of bulk power. As opposed to classic stability studies where risk can be shown to be greatest during high load periods, the zero hour exploit-cyber-risk assumes that vulnerabilities will be attacked as soon as they are discovered. The probability of attacks is made uniform over time to include any and all possible attacks. Examining the impact of an attack and how the grid reacts immediately following an attack will identify and determine the criticality of each asset.

This work endeavors to fulfill the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection Requirements CIP-001-1 through CIP-009-2, cyber security requirements for the reliable supply of bulk power to customers throughout North America.
Online Territories of Terror: Utilizing the Internet for Jihadist Endeavors
2011 Prucha, N. Journal
An introduction to Jihadism online
A Typology of Lone Wolves: Preliminary Analysis of Lone Islamist Terrorists
2011 Pantucci, R. Report
The troublesome question of how and whether to consider what are commonly referred to as Lone Wolf terrorists within the broader roster of terrorist groups is something that has regularly confounded security analysts for a variety of reasons. This article attempts to create some sort of typology to start to define the group, with specific reference to the instances of Lone Wolves (or Lone Wolf Packs, an admittedly paradoxical choice of words that is defined in the article as small, isolated groups of individuals involved in terrorism) who claim to adhere to an extremist Islamist ideology. The article offers four subsets to the definition, drawing upon a detailed analysis of a variety of different plots in Europe and North America: Loner, Lone Wolf, Lone Wolf Pack, and Lone Attacker. The purpose of the article is to offer some preliminary thoughts on the issue of Lone Wolves, and start a process towards deeper understanding and closer analysis of the phenomenon. This is of particular salience given the frequency with which security analysts cite the phenomenon as a threat and the increasing way in which Al Qaeda ideologues refer to it.
White Hoods And Keyboards- An Examination Of The Klan And Ku Klux Klan Websites
2011 Selepak, A.G. PhD Thesis
The Ku Klux Klan is the oldest and most well-known extremist group in the United States with a history dating back nearly 150 years. The Klan has been featured in numerous movies, books, documentaries, and been the center of countless news stories. But, in recent years, the Ku Klux Klan has been all but forgotten by researchers who believed the Klan was a dying organization with a nearly extinct membership of individuals who could not accept the end of segregation and the Klan‟s defeat during the Civil Rights Movement. But, recent research by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows the Klan is not extinct, nor is the Klan dying. Instead, the Ku Klux Klan is growing with new members joining across the country and the world. Research has shown the recent growth in membership has been caused by the election of the first black President of the United States, a poor economy and high unemployment, and an increase in the minority population of the United States brought on by immigration. In addition, research has suggested the growth in groups like the Ku Klux Klan has been caused by an increase in the number of Ku Klux Klan web sites on the Internet. This study used grounded theory and a mixed-method approach to examine the proliferation of Klan web sites and to achieve a better understanding of the Ku Klux Klan and its recent rise in membership. Using content analysis of current Klan web sites and in-depth interviews with current Klan leaders, this study examined the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan, the purpose of the Ku Klux Klan in the 21st Century, why the Klan creates and maintains web sites, and examined the membership of the Ku Klux Klan.  Based on analysis of Klan web sites and interviews with Klan leaders, Ku Klux Klan beliefs fall under two general themes. First, the Klan believes white Christians are held to a double standard and not allowed to have pride in their culture and heritage, while at the same time treated unfairly by the media, society, and the government. Second, the Klan believes in racial separation, and the need for whites to either remove themselves from a society perceived as against them or to combat that society through political and legal involvement. Results suggest the Klan creates web sites not for the sole purpose of recruit, but instead, to inform the general public of the Klan‟s goals to combat a double standard in society, and to market the Klan to greater segment of the American population, by using the Internet to rebrand the image of the Klan as an organization dedicated to preserving white, American, and Christian culture. In addition, results indicate no one group exists that can claim the title of “Ku Klux Klan.” Instead, this study found a variety of Klan organizations exist with competing ideologies and beliefs. Using a mixed-methods approach of incorporating quantitative and qualitative data, this study found two types of Klan organizations exist. One Klan is a traditional fraternal organization, while the other is a more radical and extremist organization intent on becoming a paramilitary organization, church or political party. Members of the Klan 15  were generally observed to be average American citizens with families. More specifically, Klan members were revealed to be white, politically and religiously conservative Christians, many of whom were military veterans and owned their own business, and in general were opposed to a changing world and changing American society. 
The Women of Stormfront: An Examination of White Nationalist Discussion Threads on the Internet
2011 Castle, T. and Chevalier, M. Journal
Although a plethora of literature exists on hate or extremist group activity, the role of racist women remains an unexplored area. The current study sought to explore one method of communication for racist women, the Internet. The researchers conducted a content analysis on 227 discussion threads provided on one of the oldest extremist websites on the Internet, Stormfront. The purpose of this study was to investigate the content of the discussion threads described as ‘For Stormfront Ladies Only.’ Of primary interest to the researchers was whether the content discussed by women in this ‘White Nationalist’ cyber community supported the assertion by some scholars that the role of women in racist activities is undergoing a transformation and the implications of this study in that regard are discussed.
European Regulation of Cross-Border Hate Speech in Cyberspace: The Limits of Legislation
2011 Banks, J. Journal
This article examines the complexities of regulating hate speech on the Internet through legal frameworks. It demonstrates the limitations of unilateral national content legislation and the difficulties inherent in multilateral efforts to regulate the Internet. The article highlights how the US commitment to free speech has undermined European efforts to construct a truly international regulatory system. It is argued that a broad coalition of citizens, industry and government, employing technological, educational and legal frameworks, may offer the most effective approach through which to limit the effects of hate speech originating from outside of European borders.
Video Vortex Reader II Moving Images Beyond YouTube 2011
2011 Lovink, G. and Somers Miles, R. Report
This second Video Vortex Reader marks the transition of online video into the mainstream. Staggering statistics of hypergrowth no longer impress us. Massive usage is not an indication of relevance. Heavy use does not automatically translate into well-funded research or critical art practices. Is the study of online video, like most new media topics, doomed to remain a niche activity – or will we see a conceptual quantum leap, in line with the billions of clips watched daily?
EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2011
2011 Europol Report
The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) was established in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States of America (US), as a reporting mechanism from the Terrorism Working Party (TWP) of the Council of the EU to the European Parliament. The content of the TE-SAT reports is based on information supplied by EU Member States, some third states (Colombia, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States of America) and third organisations (Eurojust and Interpol), as well as information gained from open sources.
Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production
2011 Schäfer, M.T. Book
On how participation via Internet and social media transform cultural production
Cybersecurity Two Years Later
2011 CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency Report
When CSIS published Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency two years ago, cybersecurity was not a major issue for public policy. Along with the work of many others, our first report helped to change this. However, the new energy in the national dialogue on cybersecurity has not yet translated into sufficient progress. We thought then that securing cyberspace had become a critical challenge for national security, which our nation was not prepared to meet. In our view, we are still unprepared.
The Internet And Homegrown Jihadist Terrorism- Assessing U S Detection Techniques
2010 Banez, J.D. MA Thesis

The idea of homegrown terrorism is not a new concept, especially considering the history of challenges faced by the United States and other Western countries. However, the current violent jihadist problem has overshadowed those past misfortunes in terms of its objective and volatility. What is emergent is the means by which the individuals involved in this movement reinforce or possibly operationalize their radicalized behavior. The Internet is often that vehicle. Efforts to reform U.S. intelligence have placed increasing value on open-source information for threat assessments. Consequently, the open Internet has been targeted in search of radical actors, both foreign and homegrown. Some analysts contend that the availability of radical discourse on the Internet presents an opportunity for early identification by authorities. This thesis analyzes the value of open-source exploitation of the Internet in the domestic counterterrorism role in relation to other detection techniques in order to extract best practices and lessons learned for improved intelligence and law enforcement activities.

Online De-Radicalization? Countering Violent Extremist Narratives: Message, Messenger and Media Strategy
2010 Ashour, O. Journal
Is “online de-radicalization” possible? Given the two growing phenomena of “online radicalization” and “behavioral/ideological/organizational de-radicalization,” this article outlines a broad strategy for countering the narratives of violent extremists. It argues that an effective counter-narrative should be built on three pillars. The first is an effective comprehensive message that dismantles and counter-argues against every dimension of the extremist narrative, namely the theological, political, historical, instrumental and sociopsychological dimensions. The second pillar is the messengers. The article argues that for the first time in the history of Jihadism a “critical mass” of former militants, who rebelled not only against the current behaviour of their former colleagues but also against the ideology supporting it, has come into existence. This “critical mass” can constitute the core of credible messengers, especially the few de-radicalized individuals and groups that still maintain influence and respect among vulnerable communities. The third pillar is the dissemination and attraction strategy of the counter-narratives(s) which focuses on the role of the media. The author of the article outlines a broad framework, which is a part of a UN-sponsored, comprehensive research project on countering the extremists narrative.