Violence is a central theme in both the conduct and messaging of the jihadist group Daesh. Social movement theory suggests that for such a group, reliant on the generation of support and membership, it is necessary to frame their actions – and thus their violence – in a legitimizing manner. However, while social movement theory elaborates the concept of framing, it offers little in terms of how violent actors legitimize violent action. Radicalization into Violent Extremism (or RVE) theories provides insights in this direction.
This paper will investigate how Daesh legitimizes the use of violence in its Dabiq magazine with the help of RVE theory in form of a quantitative content analysis followed by qualitative case studies of individual articles pertinent to the topic