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Terrorism and Communication

Terrorism and Communication
A Critical Introduction

August 2012 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Based on the premise that terrorism is essentially a message, Terrorism and Communication: A Critical Introduction examines terrorism from a communication perspective—making it the first text to offer a complete picture of the role of communication in terrorist activity. Through the extensive examination of state-of-the-art research on terrorism as well as recent case studies and speech excerpts, communication and terrorism scholar Jonathan Matusitz explores the ways that terrorists communicate messages through actions and discourse. Using a multifaceted approach, he draws valuable insights from relevant disciplines, including mass communication, political communication, and visual communication, as he illustrates the key role that media outlets play in communicating terrorists' objectives and examines the role of global communication channels in both spreading and combating terrorism. This is an essential introduction to understanding what terrorism is, how it functions primarily through communication, how we talk about it, and how we prevent it.

1. What Is Terrorism?
2. Terrorism as a Communication Process: Tactics
3. Terrorism as a Communication Process: The Media
4. Terrorism as a Communication Process: The Audience
5. Framing Terrorism
6. Terrorism as Social Construction of Reality
7. Stereotyping Terrorists
8. Interpreting Terrorism through Rhetoric
9. Euphemisms for Terrorism
10. Terrorism and Group Dynamics
11. Organizational Structure and Leadership in Terrorism
12. Diffusion of Innovations (DoI) and Terrorism
13. The Globalization of Terrorism
14. One-on-One with the Terrorist: Interpersonal Perspectives
15. One-on-One with the Terrorist: International Perspectives
16. Crisis Communication and Intelligence

Engages the reader into a too often overlooked aspect of Terrorism studies-the role of the media in shaping terrorism beyond that of the intentions of the terrorist.
In an atmosphere of 24/7 coverage of terrorism,particularly from the middle east in provides a much needed perspective on this essential aspect of the terrorist act.

Mr Russell Barlow
Law humanities and social sciences, Derby University
March 17, 2015

An excellent overview of the communicational aspects of terrorism, and text is easily read and aceesible for most students.

Dr Greg Simons
Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University
February 17, 2013

Matusitz book offers a really interesting insight on how terrorism works as an organization, and the political functions of terrorism. One aspect of terrorism that I would like to see more of if the book will be updated in new editions, is the focus on individual terrorists, like Anders Behring Breivik in Norway.

Mr Matts Skagshöj
Department of Health & Society, Halmstad University
December 16, 2012

This is an incredibly comprehensive book that really digs into the impact of communication on the study and response to terrorism. I have allowed several graduate students to look at it and have discussed it with undergrads in preparation for an online course I will be teaching on this topic over the Winterim. They are excited to be learning about this topic and I can't find a better book to cover this material so thoroughly.

Dr Cade Spaulding
Communication Division, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
October 29, 2012
Key features


§ First single-author core text to introduce how to understand terrorism from a communication perspective, drawing on the full range of communication approaches, including nonverbal, intercultural, mass, political, and visual communication.

§ Teaches you how to think critically about the "message" behind terrorism, as well as the ways that news and popular media frame our understanding of terrorism.

§ Draws on current examples and the latest research on terrorism to examine how terrorist organizations employ communication techniques to spread influence, and how communication tools and theories can be used to prevent the spread of terrorism.

§ The author shows students how to think critically about the "message" behind terrorism, as well as the ways that news and popular media frame our understanding of terrorism.

Sample Materials & Chapters


CH 1

CH 4

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