The Strategic Logic of the “Linkage-Based” Approach to Combating Militant Islamist Propaganda: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations

11 Apr 2017

By Dr. Haroro J. Ingram.

The ICCT Policy Brief titled ‘A “Linkage-Based” Approach to Combating Militant Islamist Propaganda’ presented a two-tiered framework of interlocking guidelines for counter-terrorism strategic communications. This Research Paper methodically examines the strategic logic of the “linkage-based” approach by exploring its conceptual and empirical foundations. It begins by briefly outlining the strategy’s core principles and outlining the four bodies of research that inform its key components. First, the framework’s fundamentals of campaign planning – a suite of macro, mezzo and micro considerations and four strategic-policy principles – are based on a historical analysis of successful propaganda strategies during conflict. Second, empirical research regarding how humans tend to interpret information and make decisions, particularly the notions of automatic and deliberative thinking drawn from behavioural economics, informs the strategy’s campaign and message design guidelines. Third, Tier 1 efforts are designed to mimic the strengths and exploit the weaknesses of militant Islamist propaganda strategies; an approach based on analyses of primary sources. Fourth, Tier 2 efforts are based on empirical research regarding the impact of disruption and disengagement strategies upon violent extremist propaganda networks.

Read the Research Paper.


How to cite: Ingram, H. J. “The Strategic Logic of the “Linkage-Based” Approach to Combating Militant Islamist Propaganda: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations”, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague 8, no. 6 (2017).

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19165/2017.1.06