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Containing the Narrative: Strategy and Tactics in Countering the Storyline of Global Jihad


It has long been recognised that telling a better story is an important part of countering the appeal of Global Jihad. The ‘War on Terror’ will be difficult to win if the ‘War on Ideas’ is lost. The mushrooming literature on terrorism notwithstanding, the counter‐narrative issue has been the subject of surprisingly scant academic attention. Part of the problem is that this is an issue with relatively little empirical work. Still, significant inferences for a counter‐narrative strategy can be drawn from existing research. Here we argue that counter‐narratives must be tailored to different audiences and must be designed to attack particular mechanisms of radicalisation. In contrast to the top‐down approach that has thus far been advocated to confront the claims of Global Jihad ‘head on’, what is actually needed is a bottom‐up approach that reaches vulnerable individuals early on by means of a nuanced approach that is sensitive to the multiple logics of radicalisation.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Christian, Leuprecht, Todd Hataley, Sophia Moskalenko, and Clark McCauley. 2010. "Containing the Narrative: Strategy and Tactics in Countering the Storyline of Global Jihad." Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism 5 (January): 42-57. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/18335300.2010.9686940