DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION POLICY FOR COUNTERING ISIS RECRUITMENT IN THE UNITED STATES: LESSONS FOR THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
Mabry, Tristan J.
Johnson, Thomas H.
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The comparative research investigates differences between the United States and Azerbaijan’s applications of strategic communications to counter terrorist recruiting. The key differences lie in cultural and religious narratives as well as target audiences. The U.S. Constitution formally protects freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and the anti-terrorism strategic communications of the U.S. government do not generally target a domestic audience. Azerbaijan formally and informally protects historically established religious traditions, insofar as those traditions guarantee non-violence. This requires regulation of religious freedom by Azerbaijani policy makers. These differences are due not only to the religious dissimilarity between the countries but also to institutional legacies. Whereas the United States has prioritized the freedom of expression in its organization of strategic communications, the government of Azerbaijan has constructed narratives of multiculturalism countering religious radicalization. The lessons from how U.S. institutions emphasize freedom of expression in their strategic communications to counter terrorist recruiting may help Azerbaijan boost the effectiveness of its domestic propaganda. This research uses concepts from counterterrorism, communications, political science, history, and sociology, and draws from academic literature, policy documents, and media materials in English, Azerbaijani, and Russian.
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