The Narrative Rationality of Violent Extremism

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7 Scopus citations


Objective: This essay explores the narratives that are used to justify terrorist attacks by perpetrators and their supporters. Method: The author examines the ways in which narratives rationalizing violence have been constructed and repeated by Islamist extremists and, in the case of Oklahoma City bombing, by McVeigh and other members of the Patriot movement. Results: The analysis of these two case studies demonstrates the power of narrative rationality to motivate terrorist acts and suggests narrative counterstrategies are key to undermining that power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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