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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 24, 2018

Perpetrators’ strategic communication: Framing and identity building on ethno-nationalist terrorists’ websites

  • Liane Rothenberger EMAIL logo , Yulia An , Natalia Angulo Mejía , Arlinda Arizi and María Martín Villalobos
From the journal Communications


The study explores communication strategies of ethno-nationalist terrorists with respect to their framing and identity building. Strategies of eight ethno-nationalist terrorist groups were analyzed using 70 articles published on the groups’ websites. Three cluster-analytic procedures and a correlational analysis were applied to (1) strategies of problem definition, (2) cause and responsibility attribution, (3) treatment recommendations, and (4) identity building. The analysis revealed various dimensions on which terrorists frame their content. No group-specific strategies of framing and identity building have been found yet, suggesting that the strategies were universal across terrorist groups, and they were applied on a case-by-case basis. Knowledge about these strategies should advance counter-terrorism efforts, and assist in development of alternative identities among ethnic groups at risk of conflict.

Published Online: 2018-3-24
Published in Print: 2018-6-26

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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