VOX-Pol Participation in Society for Terrorism Research 11th Annual International Conference

The Society for Terrorism Research 11th Annual International Conference was held on 14 – 15 August 2017 in New York. It was organised by New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. The conference consisted of eight panels over two days.

Contributions were made at the conference by VOX-Pol’s Dr. Paul Gill and Dr. Emily Corner (both University College London) and VOX-Pol Research Assistant, Sean Looney (Dublin City University). VOX-Pol Researcher Mobility Programme alum, Dr. Kurt Braddock (Pennsylvania State University) was also a conference contributor.

On Day 1 of the conference Gill, Braddock, and Corner presented ‘The Moderating Effects of “Dark” Personality Traits on the Persuasive Effectiveness of Terrorist Narrative Propaganda.’ This study exposes participants (of different levels of narcissism, Machiavellianism, subclinical psychopathy, and everyday sadism) to one of several terrorist narrative stimuli of varying degrees of vividness. Data collection began in summer 2017, allowing for presentation of preliminary results to describe the nature of the interaction between these “dark” personality traits and different types of terrorist narrative propaganda.

Gill and Corner also presented their co-authored paper titled ‘Discerning Signal from the Noise in Online and Offline Threats’ on Day 2. This paper assesses whether key variables related to individual capability and environmental security help discriminate those who simply only communicate threats from those who approach the targets of their threats ‘in real life.’

DCU’s Looney co-presented ‘“The Lions of Tomorrow”: A News Value Analysis of Child Images in Jihadi Magazines’ with Amy-Louise Watkin (The Cyberterrorism Project, Swansea University) Day 2 of the conference. Their study contributes to the growing body of work on online jihadist magazines in two ways: it focuses on images, as opposed to most studies which almost exclusively focus on text and also examines the portrayal of children, as opposed to most studies that focus on narrative themes such as in-group and out-group identities.

VOX-Pol RMP alum Braddock also presented a paper co-authored with Dr. John Morrison (Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre, University of East London), ‘Cultivating Trust and Source Credibility in Online Counter-narratives Intended to Reduce Support for Terrorism’.

Dr.’s Gill and Braddock also chaired a number of conference panels.

The 12th annual Society for terrorism Research conference will take place in 2018 in Liverpool, England.

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