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
Twitter and Jihad: the Communication Strategy of ISIS
2015 Maggioni, M. and Magri, P. Report
The capture of Mosul in the summer of 2014 by the self-styled ‘Islamic State’ appears today much more than a significant military event in the complex scenario of the Middle-East and in the tangled situation of Iraq and Syria. Close observers were not surprised. The establishment of the ‘Islamic State’ has characterized most of the recent history of this part of the world and has shown the ability to benefit from the inability to provide a clear answer to all the deep political and social unrest in this region. The symbol of this constant evolution and transformation is found in the various names that have been adopted over the years, from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI); Islamic State in Iraq (ISI); Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS); to the current Islamic State (IS). This aspect should not be overlooked.
Benjamin Ducol Le « jihad 2 0 » Discours, Mythes et Réalités
2015 Ducol, B. Lecture
Titre complet : Le « jihad 2.0 » ? : Discours, mythes et réalité(s) autour du rôle des espaces numériques dans les trajectoires jihadistes contemporaines.
The Islamic State's Ideology & Propaganda
2015 Brookings Institution Video
On March 11, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World convened a panel to launch two new Brookings papers that break down the ideology and social media methods of the Islamic State to trace how the group rose in influence to become a global jihadi movement.
Using KNN and SVM Based One-Class Classifier for Detecting Online Radicalization on Twitter
2015 Agarwal, S. and Sureka, A. Chapter
Twitter is the largest and most popular micro-blogging website on Internet. Due to low publication barrier, anonymity and wide penetration, Twitter has become an easy target or platform for extremists to disseminate their ideologies and opinions by posting hate and extremism promoting tweets. Millions of tweets are posted on Twitter everyday and it is practically impossible for Twitter moderators or an intelligence and security analyst to manually identify such tweets, users and communities. However, automatic classification of tweets into pre-defined categories is a non-trivial problem problem due to short text of the tweet (the maximum length of a tweet can be 140 characters) and noisy content (incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes, presence of standard and non-standard abbreviations and slang). We frame the problem of hate and extremism promoting tweet detection as a one-class or unary-class categorization problem by learning a statistical model from a training set containing only the objects of one class . We propose several linguistic features such as presence of war, religious, negative emotions and offensive terms to discriminate hate and extremism promoting tweets from other tweets. We employ a single-class SVM and KNN algorithm for one-class classification task. We conduct a case-study on Jihad, perform a characterization study of the tweets and measure the precision and recall of the machine-learning based classifier. Experimental results on large and real-world dataset demonstrate that the proposed approach is effective with F-score of 0.60 and 0.83 for the KNN and SVM classifier respectively.
VOX-Pol Discusses Media Strategies of Violent Radical Groups Online
2015 Conway, M. and Brown, I. Video
At the end of January, VOX-Pol's Dr Maura Conway (DCU) and Professor Ian Brown (OII) spoke to Belgian public service broadcaster VRT News on the subject of media strategies used by radical groups online. This a video of the news segment.
Terrorism, Communication and New Media: Explaining Radicalization in the Digital Age
2015 Archetti, C. Journal
This article aims to demonstrate that a greater understanding of communication in the 21st century is essential to more effective counterterrorism. In fact, while “strategic communication” and “narratives” are advocated by many analysts as essential weapons in countering extremism, few seem to truly understand the reality of the digital-age information environment where such tools need to be deployed. To contribute to bridging this gap, the article outlines some problematic misunderstandings of the contemporary information environment, provides an alternative communication-based framework to explain radicalization, and draws some counterintuitive lessons for tackling terrorism.
Cyber jihadists and Their Web
2015 Berton, B. and Pawlak, P. Policy
Policy advice for EU member states on how to tackle jihadist online recruitment techniques.
Panel on Monitoring the Net for Violent Extremist Material, organised by VOX-Pol at CPDP2015
2015 Panel on Monitoring the Net for Violent Extremist Material at CPDP2015 Video
Panel on Monitoring the Net for Violent Extremist Material, organised by VOX-Pol at CPDP2015
VOX-Pol: An Introduction
2015 VOX-Pol Video
VOX-Pol: An Introduction
Terrorisme i Cyberspace: Udfordringer ved Organisering og Udførelse af Politisk Vold Online
2015 Teglskov Jacobsen, J. Article
Internettet præsenteres ofte som et farligt redskab i hænderne på terrorister. Det er dog ikke nødvendigvis sandheden. Artiklen trækker på indsigter fra studier af sunniekstremistiske grupper, Anders B. Breivik og Anonymous og diskuterer terroristers anvendelse af internettet i organiseringen og udførelsen af terrorisme. Jeg vil argumentere for, at det anarkiske og anonyme internet fører mistillid og fragmentering med sig, hvilket gør det sværere for grupper at opretholde en fælles strategi og det fælles fjendebillede. Artiklen styrker derfor fortællingen om, at det hovedsageligt er ekskluderede og socialt marginaliserede enspændere, der ender med at planlægge voldshandlinger i isolation bag computerskærmen. I forlængelse heraf vil jeg pege på, at hovedparten af potentielle terrorister drages af fysisk interaktion,
våben og eksplosioner – og ikke udviklingen af komplekse cybervåben.
Starting Points for Combating Hate Speech Online
2015 Titley, G., Keen, E. and Földi, L. Report
Young People Combating Hate Speech Online is a project of the Council of Europe’s youth sector running between 2012 and 2015. The project aims to combat racism and discrimination in their online expression of hate speech by equipping young people and youth organisations with the competences necessary to recognize and act against such human rights violations. Central to the project is a European youth media campaign which will be designed and implemented with the agency of young people and youth organisations. As a preparation for the project, the Council of Europe’s Youth Department commissioned three “mapping” studies about the realities of hate speech and young people and projects and campaigns about it. These studies are published here as a resource for the activists, youth leaders, researchers, partners and decision makers associated to the project and the online campaign. They are truly a starting points: more research is needed, both on the legal and policy implications of hate speech online as on its impact and relation with young people.
Pulling Back The Curtain: An Examination Of The English Defence League And Their Use Of Facebook
2015 Reynolds, T. PhD Thesis
As social media becomes an integral part of our daily lives, and groups seek to utilize this medium to facilitate activism, understanding the nature of these communications and the impact of the content on the individual user becomes a valid area of interest. When one then considers that extremist and terrorist groups have found social media to be an inexpensive and effective means for communication, radicalization, recruitment and member mobilization, the need for this understanding becomes critical. This research seeks to provide just such an understanding in its examination of Far-Right English Defence League and their use of Facebook during a period of increased activism and online growth. Important elements of this work include an understanding of the legal and ethical issues surrounding the collection of online content, particularly in extremist environments; the role of traditional media in their coverage of the group and whether the comments of the members reflect the group’s mission statement of the characterization of traditional media; the ability to enhance data segregation and analysis through the development and use of specialized software; and most importantly the findings from the data analysis. Contained within these findings is an understanding of the intricacies of online participation in extremist social media. These include insights into overall traffic generation, the use of links within communications and their impact on the member traffic, and how the group narrative put forth by the administrator is reflected in the dialogue of the users. The most important finding was an understanding of individual user participation within the group and how, even with such an inexpensive and pervasive media outlet, activist groups still struggle to overcome the problem of participation. That this knowledge can be applied in a meaningful way in counter extremist and counterterrorism efforts was an interesting and satisfying development.
Cyber-security In The European Region: Anticipatory Governance And Practices
2015 Munk, T. H. PhD Thesis
This thesis explores the nature of cyber security at the beginning of the 21st century. In the current security paradigm, security strategies based on anticipatory governance have become essential in the management of the constantly changing cyber security environment. Thus, this thesis aims to understand security strategies and governance introduced in the European region. The increased dependency on cyber space is visible in all public private sectors and governmental operations, as well as communications between groups and individuals. As a result, cyber attacks on public and private entities are increasing. This requires a security framework that is flexible and establishes different types of security cooperation to manage the widespread cyber risks. This is essential to the development of security strategies, governance forms, practices, and guidelines for enhancing resilience and preparedness towards cyber risks. Therefore, I am examining cyber security through the lenses of nodal governance and governmentality, which enables me to understand European cyber security strategies and governance forms developed by the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. To analyse existing strategies and governance forms, I have used two critical security schools, the Copenhagen School and the Paris School, which cover different aspects of the security agenda. The thesis develops a substantive analytical framework through two case studies, namely cyber security and cyber terrorism. The findings in this thesis identifies problem areas, such as the complexity of the nodal system, the legislative lacuna, reliance on different governance forms, transparency and accountability, and types of anticipatory governance and regulatory practices.
Just A Click Away: Radicalization In The Net Generation
2015 Frank, B. MA Thesis
The use of the Internet as a vehicle of socialization has exploded in the 21st century and while this presents exciting possibilities, it also comes with troubling ones. Among those who have embraced this new medium are extremist groups, who use the Web as a space in which to communicate, exchange ideas, network and reach new followers. In regards to this last point, it provides them near unlimited opportunities to gain access to potential recruits and converts, raising interesting questions in terms of the dynamics of the radicalization process and how it manifests itself within the confines of this new arena. Through an analysis of postings made to the discussion board of Stormfront.org, this research paper examines whether or not the radicalization process follows the same transformative pattern in the virtual world as has been described in some of the leading academic theories that address this phenomenon in the physical one.
Linksextreme Medien
2014 van Hüllen, R. Article
Linksextreme Medien wollen nicht möglichst objektiv über allgemeine Belange berichten. Sie sind auch keine Wirtschaftsunternehmen, die kundenorientiert Leistungen verkaufen wollen. Sie verfolgen politische Ziele - und bekämpfen die politischen Gegner.
De leefwereld en denkbeelden van Nederlandse en Belgische Syriëgangers: een analyse van elf Facebook-accounts
2014 Grol, P., Weggemans, D. and Bakker, E. Article
Content analysis of the posts from eleven Facebook accounts of known Dutch and Belgian foreign fighters (in Dutch). English summary is available here: http://leidensafetyandsecurityblog.nl/articles/foreign-fighters-on-social-media-an-analysis-of-11-facebook-accounts
Modified Frequency-Based Term Weighting Scheme for Accurate Dark Web Content Classification
2014 Sabbah, T. and Selamat, A. Chapter
Security informatics and intelligence computation plays a vital role in detecting and classifying terrorism contents in the web. Accurate web content classification using the computational intelligence and security informatics will increase the opportunities of the early detection of the potential terrorist activities. In this paper, we propose a modified frequency-based term weighting scheme for accurate Dark Web content classification. The proposed term weighting scheme is compared to the common techniques used in text classification such as Term Frequency (TF), Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IFD), and Term Frequency- Relative Frequency (tf.rf), on a dataset selected from Dark Web Portal Forum. The experimental results show that the classification accuracy and other evaluation measures based on the proposed scheme outperforms other term weighting techniques based classification.
VOX-Pol Inaugural Conference Keynote Lecture: Thomas Hegghammer
2014 Hegghammer, T. Lecture
Inaugural VOX-Pol Conference:
'Violent Online Political Extremism: Setting a Research Agenda'
Kings College London: August 28-29, 2014
VOX-Pol Inaugural Conference Keynote Lecture: Manuela Caiani
2014 Caiani, M. Lecture
Inaugural VOX-Pol Conference:
'Violent Online Political Extremism: Setting a Research Agenda'
Kings College London: August 28-29, 2014
VOX-Pol Summer School Public Lecture: Brown Moses
2014 Higgins, E. Lecture
VOX-Pol Summer School: 'Topics in Violence Online Political Extremism'
Dublin: July 3, 2014