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
"Linksextremismus im Internet", Extremismus in Deutschland
2004 Reinhardt, A. and Reinhardt, B. Report
Die Autoren nehmen sich des Problems der Nutzung des Internets durch Linksextremisten an und analysieren die unterschiedlichen "Gesichter“ des linksextremismus im Internet.
Terrorism and (Mass) Communication: From Nitro to the Net
2004 Conway, M. Article
In their seminal contribution to the study of terrorism and the media, Violence as Communication (1982), Alex Schmid and Jenny De Graaf point out that before technology made possible the amplification and multiplication of speech, the maximum number of people that could be reached simultaneously was determined by the range of the human voice and was around 20,000 people. In the nineteenth century, the size of an audience was expanded twenty-five to fifty times. In 1839 the New York Sun published a record 39,000 copies; in 1896, on the occasion of President McKinley’s election, two US papers, belonging to Pulitzer and Hearst, for the first time printed a million copies. William McKinley paid a high price for this publicity. In 1901 he was killed by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, who explained his deed with the words: ‘For a man should not claim so much attention, while others receive none.’ Historically, access to the communication structure was intimately related to power. With the growth of the press, and later television, a situation arose that gave unequal chances of expression to different people. This connection between power and free expression was summed-up by A.J. Liebling who observed that ‘Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
Cyberterrorism: Media Myth or Clear and Present Danger?
2004 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Cyberterrorism: media myth or clear and present danger?" in book: Irwin, Jones, (ed.) War and virtual war: the challenges to communities.
The Deceit of internet hate speech: A Study of the narrative and visual methods used by hate groups on the Internet
2004 Albano, G.M. MA Thesis
Intentional misinformation is a problem that has been documented in a variety of shapes and forms for thousands of years and continues to plague the American landscape. The advent and increasing usage of the Internet have created an additional venue through which intentional misinformation is disseminated, and many groups are taking full advantage of this new communication medium. Because the Internet allows anyone with web publishing skills to disseminate misinformation, it is often difficult for users to judge the credibility of the information. Hate groups understand this phenomenon and are taking full advantage of the Internet by publishing hate sites that promote their extremist ideologies by using language and symbolism that makes the true message difficult to decipher. This study will investigate the methods employed by hate groups to disseminate misinformation to the public.
Online Islamic Organizations And Measuring Web Effectiveness
2004 Minji, D. MA Thesis
Experts estimate that websites maintained by various Islamic extremists have increased to hundreds in recent years. Innovative operational capabilities enabled by Internet technology certainly pose serious challenges to U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. However, greater attention must be given to Islamic organizations that wage information campaigns, perpetuating resentment and discredit against the United States and her allies. While these sites may not openly call for violence, the sharing of common causes and goals with extremist organizations is worrisome. The repudiation of Western systems and global Islamization under the Shariah systems is often a transparent theme. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of these websites at attracting and engaging audiences to promote their cause by applying a web performance methodology commonly accepted in the commercial industry.
The Threat Of Cyberterrorism: Contemporary Consequences And Prescriptions
2004 Thomas Stocking, G. A. MA Thesis
This study researches the varying threats that emanate from terrorists who carry their activity into the online arena. It examines several elements of this threat. First, it explores elements of virtual to virtual attacks. Second, it looks at threats against critical infrastructures that can be traced to online sources. Third, this thesis reports on ways that terrorists are using information technology such as the Internet for propaganda and communication purposes. Finally, it highlights the most crucial ways in which the United States government has responded to the problem. It concludes with a few recommendations for best practices for future engagement with varying aspects of cyberterrorism.
Hackers as Terrorists? Why it Doesn't Compute
2003 Conway, M. Article
The bulk of this article is concerned with showing why computer hackers and terrorists are unlikely to form an unholy alliance to engage in so-called
cyberterrorism. The remainder of the paper examines why neither hacktivists nor crackers fall easily into the cyberterrorist category either.
Code wars: Steganography, Signals Intelligence, and Terrorism
2003 Conway, M. Article
This paper describes and discusses the process of secret communication known as steganography. The argument advanced here is that terrorists are unlikely to be employing digital steganography to facilitate secret intra-group communication as has been claimed. This is because terrorist use of digital steganography is both technically and operationally implausible. The position adopted in this paper is that terrorists are likely to employ low-tech steganography such as semagrams and null ciphers instead.
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.
Terrorism and IT: Cyberterrorism and Terrorist Organisations Online
2003 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Terrorism and IT: cyberterrorism and terrorist organisations online" in book: Howard, Russell D. and Sawyer, Reid L., (eds.) Terrorism and counterterrorism: understanding the new security environment, readings and interpretations
Hate Online: A Content Analysis of Extremist Internet Sites
2003 Gerstenfeld, P., Grant, D. and Chiang, C. Journal
Extremists, such as hate groups espousing racial supremacy or separation, have established an online presence. A content analysis of 157 extremist web sites selected through purposive sampling was conducted using two raters per site. The sample represented a variety of extremist groups and included both organized groups and sites maintained by apparently unaffiliated individuals. Among the findings were that the majority of sites contained external links to other extremist sites (including international sites), that roughly half the sites included multimedia content, and that half contained racist symbols. A third of the sites disavowed racism or hatred, yet one third contained material from supremacist literature. A small percentage of sites specifically urged violence. These and other findings suggest that the Internet may be an especially powerful tool for extremists as a means of reaching an international audience, recruiting members, linking diverse extremist groups, and allowing maximum image control.
Confronting Cyberterrorism With Cyber Deception
2003 Gregory Tan, K. L. MA Thesis
This thesis concerns the possibility of deceiving cyberterrorists using defensive deception methods. As cyberspace today is a battleground for myriad cyber attacks and intrusions, it may only be a matter of time before terrorists choose to advance their deadly cause in cyberspace. We explore some of the questions raised regarding the threat of cyberterrorism by examining different perspectives, motivations, actors, targets, and how they may be confronted. One way is to draw from the lessons of deception and apply them against cyberterrorist attacks. Cyber deception applies in cyberspace just as well as deception in military battles. From the different categories of attackers that could perpetrate cyberterrorism, we examine the ways in which they may be deceived. Many of the methods and tools that cyberterrorists would use are similar to those used by other less malicious hackers, so we can plan specific deceptions to use against them in advance.
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.
Historical Events And Supply Chain Disruption: chemical, biological, radiological and cyber events
2003 Lensing, R. P. MA Thesis
In the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, terrorism emerged as a legitimate threat not just to society, but to corporations as well. This new threat has challenged old business rules and prompted companies to rethink their supply chain operations. However, the events of September 11th were not the first or the only disruptions that the business world had experienced. This thesis reviews past historical events that simulate the effects of a terrorist attack and extracts lessons that can be applied by today's corporations to prepare for future attacks or disruptions. The types of events studied include Biological, Chemical, Radiological and Cyber disruptions. Through the analysis and synthesis of each event's impact, the following generalized recommendations emerged: Prior warnings and events should be acknowledged, studied and utilized. Government intervention may strain operations under disruptive stress. Alternate sourcing should be considered to ease supply issues. Disruptions should be approached in a comprehensive and forthright manner. A security and safety culture should be fostered to prevent disruptions and control their spread. Systems should be prepared to quickly operate in isolation during a disruption. Finally, impact is frequently less severe then initially predicted. Through the events described and these recommendations, this thesis aims to provide lessons for firms to manage their supply chains through future disruptions.
Terror in Cyberspace Terrorists Will Exploit and Widen the Gap Between Governing Structures and the Public
2002 Stanton, J.J. Journal
There is an inverse relationship between public access to the Internet and the inability of governments and institutions to control information flow and hence state allegiance, ideology, public opinion, and policy formulation. Increase in public access to the Internet results in an equivalent decrease in government and institutional power. Indeed, after September 11, 2001, Internet traffic statistics show that many millions of Americans have connected to alternative news sources outside the continental United States. The information they consume can be and often is contrary to U.S. government statements and U.S. mainstream media reporting. Recognizing this, terrorists will coordinate their assaults with an adroit use of cyberspace for the purpose of manipulating perceptions, opinion, and the political and socioeconomic direction of many nation-states.
The Electronic Starry Plough: The Enationalism of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM)
2001 Dartnell, M. Journal
This paper takes the case of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) as the point of departure to discuss how insurgent political movement use Web communications. From mirror sites in Ireland and North America, IRSM supporters regularly use Web technology to relay the group message to a global audience at http://www.irsm.org/irsm.html. The resulting direct media contact gives the IRSM unprecedented access to global civil society. By referring to the IRSM Web site, the types of messages transmitted, the forms of transmission (text, video, audio, e-mail or other), and target audiences (national, global, political elites, media), this paper outlines some of the issues and challenges posed by Web-based anti-government media. The Internet and the Web do not constitute a threat to state power as some analysts suggest but at the same time they significantly alter political communication. The IRSM is a case of "enationalism", that is, the representation of a place as home to a specific group of people. Unlike traditional nationalism, enationalism is not tied to physical space or territory, but to representation of a network of relations based on a common language, historical experience, religion and/or culture. It is about both memory and future projection of a place as the home for a given group. In this light, new media will likely co-exist with other forms of political communication for some time.
Gender and Power in Online Communication
2001 Herring, S.C. Chapter
New communication technologies are often invested with users' hopes for change in the social order. Thus the Internet is said to be inherently democratic, levelling traditional distinctions of social status, and creating opportunities for less powerful individuals and groups to participate on a par with members of more powerful groups. Specifically, the Internet has been claimed to lead to greater gender equality, with women, as the socially, politically, and economically less powerful gender, especially likely to reap its benefits.
Neo‐Nazis and Taliban On‐line: Anti‐Modern Political Movements and Modern Media
2000 Chroust, P. Article
Usually the Internet is seen as a new medium with great potential for enhancing citizenship and democracy. This essay will try to present and to reflect on some of the less well known sides of the world wide web. In this case the 'dark sides' of the Internet will not refer to web sites of sex and violence, which have attracted more attention, but rather to two political movements with a high presence in the Internet: on the one hand the neoNazis in Germany and elsewhere, and on the other hand the Taliban in Afghanistan. At first glance a topic like the 'neo-Nazis and Taliban on-line' seems to combine very disparate societal movements that are neither new (the Nazis) nor very active in a modern environment (the Taliban). This contribution will show that both the neo-Nazis and the Taliban have important similarities in their structural approaches to society as well as in their presence in the Internet, but there are also of course serious differences. Because of this unusual comparison it will be helpful to sketch some of the context for the activities of the neo-Nazis and Taliban before we turn to the main issue.
Making Friends and Enemies on Social Media: The Case of Gun Policy Organizations
2000 Merry, M. Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of interest groups in the formation of online echo chambers and to determine whether interest groups’ use of social media contributes to political polarization.

This study used a content analysis of nearly 10,000 tweets (from 2009 to 2014) by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association to examine how groups engage with their political allies and opponents.

The results indicated that both groups engaged primarily with their supporters on Twitter while avoiding confrontation with their opponents. In particular, both groups used hashtags designed to reach their supporters, retweeted messages almost exclusively from other users with whom they agreed, and disproportionately used Twitter handles of their allies, while avoiding the use of Twitter handles of their opponents.


The findings suggest that interest groups’ use of social media accelerates the formation of online echo chambers, but does not lead to an increase in polarization beyond existing levels, given practices that maintain civility between opposing sides.
White Supremacist Networks on the Internet
2000 Burris, V., Smith, E. and Strahm, A. Article
In this paper we use methods of social network analysis to examine the inter-organizational structure of the white supremacist movement. Treating links between Internet websites as ties of affinity, communication, or potential coordination, we investigate the structural properties of connections among white supremacist groups. White supremacism appears to be a relatively decentralized movement with multiple centers of influence, but without sharp cleavages between factions. Interorganizational links are stronger among groups with a special interest in mutual affirmation of their intellectual legitimacy (Holocaust revisionists) or cultural identity (racist skinheads) and weaker among groups that compete for members (political parties) or customers (commercial enterprises). The network is relatively isolated from both mainstream conservatives and other extremist groups. Christian Identity theology appears ineffective as a unifying creed of the movement, while Nazi sympathies are pervasive. Recruitment is facilitated by links between youth and adult organizations and by the propaganda efforts of more covertly racist groups. Links connect groups in many countries, suggesting the potential of the Internet to facilitate a whitesupremacist “cyber-community” that transcends regional and national boundaries.