An Analysis of the Electronic Jihad's Activity in the Social Media Environment

  • Vít Střítecký
  • Petr Špelda
Keywords: poststructuralism, chronopolitics, revisionist world order discourse, virtual social networks, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen

Abstract

The present text offers an analysis of the electronic jihad strategies based upon the Twitter campaigns of the Somali jihadi-Salafi group Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mudjahideen. The text builds on a post-structuralist conceptualization of temporality, which, when met with virtual environments, becomes a key source of power. The text first introduces a theoretical argument discussing the influence of temporality on the international system in order to apply the resulting conclusions towards an empirical analysis of the revisionist discourse disseminated by the selected extra-systemic actor. The aim of the text is to hint at the analytic potential of certain data collection methods that are employable in the environments of virtual social networks and consequently to demonstrate one of the possible methods of interpretation of such data. This method is inspired by a specific set of expressive devices which, in an apt way, connect the methodological approach with the interpretation of the revisionist world order discourse. The presented analysis in the context of the specific examined terrorist campaign illustrates a revisionist dynamic that is accelerated by the virtual domain and aims at disrupting the normative foundation of the Westphalian order.

Author Biographies

Vít Střítecký

born in 1980, he is an assistant professor of security studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague. He studied security and IR at Charles University, Uppsala University in Sweden and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He authored and/or edited several research monographs and more than twenty book chapters. His academic publications include numerous articles in various journals, including International Politics, Journal of Communist and Postcommunist Studies, European Security, Osteuropa and Mezinárodní vztahy.

Petr Špelda

born in 1986, he is an assistant professor of security studies at Metropolitan University Prague. He studied international relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague and Metropolitan University Prague.

Section
Research Articles