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Taylor & Francis
Published in Australian Journal of Political Science,51(3) 2016: 458-77.
This article analyses Dabiq magazine to explore the strategic logic of Islamic State (IS) appeals to English-speaking Muslims. It offers the field a conceptual framework through which to analyse IS’s communications strategy and a top-down empirical study of Dabiq’s contents. This paper argues that Dabiq appeals to its audiences by strategically designing in-group identity, Other, solution and crisis constructs which it leverages via value-, crisis and dichotomy-reinforcing narratives. By fusing identity- and rational-choice appeals, IS provides its audiences with a powerful ‘competitive system of meaning’ that is designed to shape its readership’s perceptions, polarise their support and drive their radicalisation.