An example of an ISIS magazine.

New research unpacking extremist groups' "visual style"

Violent extremist actors are common producers of propaganda, and an increasingly important component of this effort is its visual dimension.

A new study by Dr Stephane Baele, Dr Katherine Boyd and Dr Travis Coan, from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at Exeter, reveals the various types of images being used by such actors and explain why they are deployed. Importantly, the academics highlight that different groups tend to have different "visual styles" - that is, a series of factors lead them to favour specific types of images over others, with different consequences in terms of their messages' impact.

The study offers an illustrative in-depth study of ISIS' visual propaganda. Published in the Journal of Global Security Studies, it can be accessed here.

Date: 10 December 2019