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 Internet Rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan: A Case Study in Web Site Community Building Run Amok
2009 Bostdorff, 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.
The Funtions Of White Nationalism Online- A Content Analysis Of White Nationalist Thematic Discourse Surrounding The Eve Carson Homicide
2009 Michelle, H. S. MA Thesis

Extant literature on White Nationalism illustrates the myriad of social issues members of this racialist extremist group presently recognize as threatening the continuation of the white race and the preservation of white heritage (Swain 2002). One of these threats includes the high incidences of black-on-white violent crime within the United States. The March 2008 murder of UNC student body president Eve Carson, a 22-year-old white woman, by two young black males elicited heated discussion among White Nationalists. This paper analyzes, via content analysis, the thematic discourse surrounding Carsonâ s homicide among White Nationalists on two popular White Nationalist websites. Functionalist theory guides this investigation in the attempt to illustrate how White Nationalists use scientific theories of criminality and government crime statistics as tools for justifying their racist beliefs. Also, this study intended to answer whether or not Carsonâ s murder prompted an increase in online membership on the two websites used for the analysis. Moreover, this study sought to unearth thematic discourse which involved attacking whites who do not subscribe to White Nationalism; Eve Carson as either a sacred or profane symbol of whiteness; criticism of government policies, media, and the criminal justice system; evoking fear within the White Nationalist community; and calls for white solidarity and action. This analysis suggests that White Nationalists primarily used Carsonâ s death as an opportunity to attack whites who do not subscribe to White Nationalist beliefs.


Assessing Perceived Credibility Of Websites In A Terrorism Context
2009 Spinks, B.T. PhD Thesis
The purpose of the study was to contribute to the overall understanding of terrorist organizations' use of the Internet and to increase researchers' knowledge of Web site effectiveness. The methodological approach was the evaluation of the perceived credibility of Web sites based on existing criteria derived from information users. The Web sites of four terrorist organizations were assessed: two secular nationalist groups, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers); and two religious nationalist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. The findings of this analysis showed differences in perceived credibility factors among terrorist organizations' Web sites and positive levels of perceived credibility for the Web sites. These findings indicate the potential for positive impressions of the organizations' Web sites by information users, which would help empower the organizations with the capacity to reach their objectives. By using Web sites, these groups can effectively increase their support base through disseminating information, improving recruiting, and attracting monetary contributions, and can establish themselves as legitimate components of society.
Relocating the Virtual War
2009 Ramsay, 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
2009 Brown, 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
2009 Brown, 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
2009 Home Office, United Kingdom Policy
The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, 2009
Online Networks of the Italian and German Extreme Right
2009 Caiani, 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
2009 Cooper, A. Lecture
An analysis of how social media outlets impact digital terrorism and hate
Countering Online Radicalisation: A Strategy for Action
2009 Neumann, 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.
Finding the Far Right Online: An Explanatory study of White Supremacist Websites
2009 Sutton, M. and Wright, C. Journal
White supremacists and the Far Right political movement in the UK have, had considerable success in spreading their messages through Web sites. Some of these Web sites clearly contribute to an enabling environment for racially motivated violence in our towns and cities and possibly help to underpin also the rise of, and support for, the Far Right in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. From a position that acknowledges the enduring issue of white hegemony in Western societies, this paper provides a number of research-based recommendations for further research and future policy and practice in tackling white supremacist racial hatred on the Net.
Global Village, Global Marketplace, Global War On Terror- Metaphorical Reinscription And Global Internet Governance
2009 Shah, N. PhD Thesis




My thesis examines how metaphors of globalization shape the global governance of the Internet. I consider how, in a short span of time, discussions of the Internet’s globalizing potential have gone from the optimism of the global village to the penchant of the global marketplace to the anxiety of the global war on terror. Building upon Rorty’s theory of metaphors and Foucault’s notion of productive power, I investigate how the shifts in these prevailing metaphors have produced and legitimated different frameworks of global governance. In considering how these patterns of governance have been shaped in the context of a familiar example of globalization, I demonstrate that globalization has an important discursive dimension that works as a constitutive force – not only in Internet governance but in global governance more generally. By illuminating globalization’s discursive dimensions, this thesis makes an original theoretical contribution to the study of globalization and global governance. It demonstrates that globalization is more than a set of empirical flows: equally important, globalization exists as a set of discourses that reconstitute political legitimacy in more ‘global’ terms. This recasts the conventional understanding of global governance: rather than a response to the challenges posed by the empirical transcendence of territorial borders or the visible proliferation of non-state actors, the aims, institutions, and policies of global governance are shaped and enabled by discourses of globalization and evolve as these discourses change. In short, this thesis provides further insight into globalization’s transformations of state-based political order. It links these transformations to the discursive processes by which systems of global governance are produced and legitimated as sites of power and authority.



Cyberterrorists - Their Communicative Messages and the Effect on Targets
2003 Minei, E. MA Thesis
This qualitative study provides a semiotic perspective on cyberterrorism and its opportunity to cause maximal damage while using terrorist propaganda. The very definition of cyberterrorism refers to Internet use, technology, and computer-based networks against critical infrastructures. The application of Stamper’s Semiotic Ladder– morphological, empirical, syntactical, semantic, pragmatic and social world –to the various methods of propaganda utilized by cyberterrorists will uncover aspects on the transition from traditional to modern methods of attack, cyberterrorist communication, and the recruitment of new members to their cause. Additionally, this research focused on the role of the media in the equation of planning by propaganda to the fruition of an attack. Interviews were collected from ten participants during 30-60 minute segments.

Based on the data, five themes emerged: (1) Acknowledgement of the Existence of Cyberterrorism, (2) Postmodern Propaganda and Publicity, (3) Detrimental Effects on Targets,
(4) Media Implications , and (5) Communicative Messages. This provides readers with an organized order to the data and provides a way to progressively detail cyberterrorism, with a specific focus on the actual effects of their semiotic intents on targets, on the public, and on the world at large or what is being conveyed. Ultimately, the themes that emerged follow Stamper’s Semiotic Ladder, starting with surface level understanding of cyberterrorism and work up to the global impact of cyberterrorism on various aspects of culture, beliefs, and expectations.
Social Networking Sites and the Surveillance Society: A Critical Case Study of the Usage of studiVZ, Facebook, and MySpace by Students in Salzburg in the Context of Electronic Surveillance
2009 Fuchs, C. Report
Advertising, business, community, privacy concerns, politics, sex, love – these are issues that are associated with the term social networking platforms in popular media clippings, such as the ones just cited. The examples, which certainly have differing depth, character, and quality, show that social networking sites (SNS) and what many term “Web 2.0” have become important topics all over the world and seem to shape economic, political, and cultural communication of contemporary society. Some see SNS as creating new opportunities for democracy, business, or entertainment. Others consider them as risk that will destroy culture and society. Many of these mass- mediated debates are oversimplified and one-sided. But nonetheless they show that there is an interest in the question how online communication tools transform society and our social relations.
Social Science For Counterterrorism: Putting the Pieces Together
2009 RAND Book
This monograph by RAND surveys social-science literature relating to counterterrorism. It also takes steps toward integrating the knowledge reflected in that literature and suggesting theories and methods to inform analysis and modeling.
Jihadi Video and Auto-Radicalisation: Evidence From an Exploratory YouTube Study
2008 Conway, M. and McInerney, L. Article
Large amounts of jihadi video content on YouTube along with the vast array of relational data that can be gathered opens up innovative avenues for exploration of the support base for political violence. This exploratory study analyses the online supporters of jihad-promoting video content on YouTube, focusing on those posting and commenting upon martyr-promoting material from Iraq. Findings suggest that a majority are under 35 years of age and resident outside the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the largest percentage of supporters located in the United States. Evidence to support the potential for online radicalisation is presented. Findings relating to newly formed virtual relationships involving a YouTube user with no apparent prior links to jihadists are discussed.
Media, Fear and the Hyperreal: the Construction of Cyberterrorism as the Ultimate Threat to Critical Infrastructures
2008 Conway, M. Article
Analysis of the construction of the cyberterrorist threat, with the core argument that US media outlets have been significant contributors not just to the dissemination, but to the actual discursive construction of the contemporary cyberterrorist threat and, further, that it is their emphasis on the (imagined) fatal connectivity between virtual networks and physical infrastructures that makes the concept of cyberterror so powerful.
How A Boy Becomes A Martyr: The Dangers of Web 2.0 Technology
2008 Lyons, J. and Nutt, S. Report
This report, by the Urban Warfare Analysis Centre, is a fictitious account of how a young person in America could become a suicide bomber for an Islamic extremist group. It is the fifth in a series of reports on Web 2.0 technology and future urban warfare. All references to people, groups, and products are intended for illustrative purposes only. As such, the authors do not suggest that any of the products or organizations listed condone or support extremist activities.
Cyberterrorism: the story so far
2003 Conway, M. Journal
This paper is concerned with the origins and development of the concept of cyberterrorism. It seeks to excavate the story of the concept through an analysis of both popular/media renditions of the term and scholarly attempts to define the borders of same. The contention here is not that cyberterrorism cannot happen or will not happen, but that, contrary to popular perception, it has not happened yet.
Systematic Analysis in Counterterrorism: Messages on an Islamist Internet- Forum
2008 Renfer, M.A. and Haas, H.S. Journal
The article describes a systematic approach used by the Swiss Intelligence Service (SAP). The procedure described is illustrated by the authentic case of messages among extremists going on the Website www.islamic-minbar.com, a case that was prosecuted and brought to verdict by the Attorney General of the Swiss Confederation.