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The Strategic Communication Power of Terrorism: The Case of ETA


perspectives-on-terrorism-10-5Journal abstract

This conceptual article analyzes the use of strategic communication by the terrorist group ETA, whose goal (for a period of 60 years) was to gain independence for the Basque region from Spain. It argues that the use of strategic communication management techniques, including assassinations and kidnappings, was successful in generating fear and led to political change. It created a spiral of silence whereby people who opposed not only terrorism but Basque nationalist ideology were less willing to express their ideas even under a democratic regime. This case study shows ETA’s social and political fabric supported the fear strategy almost as much as its criminal activity.

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