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An Analysis of Islamic State’s Gendered Propaganda Targeted Towards Women: From Territorial Control to Insurgency

Causes of radicalisationOnline Terrorist RecruitmentPathways to radicalisationRadicalisationReligion

Journal Abstract

This article analyses Islamic State’s English language propaganda targeting Western women and how that messaging changed as the group shifted from territorial control back into an insurgency. It argues that Islamic State leverages five female representations in its appeals to women in order to construct and project an alternative gender order designed to further the group’s strategic objectives. As those objectives changed, so did the nature of its appeals and the female representations its propaganda emphasised. Based on primary source analysis, it draws on fifteen issues of Dabiq which spans a period of success for the group when it controlled territories and population centres (July 2014 to July 2016) and thirteen issues of Rumiyah which was a period characterised by strategic decline back into an insurgency (September 2016 to September 2017).

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