The Strategic Role of Persuasion in Violent Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Cambridge University Press 2020
Kurt Braddock's new book Weaponized Words: The Strategic Role of Persuasion in Violent Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization (Cambridge University Press, 2020) applies existing theories of persuasion to domains unique to this digital era, such as social media, YouTube, websites, and message boards to name but a few. Terrorists deploy a range of communication methods and harness reliable communication theories to create strategic messages that persuade peaceful individuals to join their groups and engage in violence. While explaining how they accomplish this, the book lays out a blueprint for developing counter-messages perfectly designed to conquer such violent extremism and terrorism. Using this basis in persuasion theory, a socio-scientific approach is generated to fight terrorist propaganda and the damage it causes.
--Describes four key theories and perspectives related to persuasion and how they relate to radicalization and counter-radicalization.
--Identifies future challenges that security officials will face in trying to stop terrorist messaging from promoting violent radicalization.
--Suggests future directions that security officials, researchers, and policymakers can take persuasion theory to develop effective counter-messaging campaigns.
Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.