A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

ISIS: Its History, Ideology, and Psychology


At the height of its power, ISIS was perceived as the biggest contemporary terrorist threat to world security. In this paper, we analyze the phenomenon of ISIS and its unique history through the lens of general social psychological principles that might have contributed to its stunning—even if only temporary—success. We suggest that ISIS represents a special case of a radical group born of the conjunction between psychological needs, an ideological narrative, and a networking process. We describe the details of ISIS’s evolution and operation in order to shed light on this threatening movement.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Jasko, Katarzyna, Arie W. Kruglanski, Ahmad Saiful Rijal Bin Hassan, and Rohan Gunaratna. 2018. "ISIS: Its History, Ideology, and Psychology." In Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, eds. M. Woodward and R. Lukens-Bull. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324279895_ISIS_Its_History_Ideology_and_Psychology

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