The Islamic State and communication.

Communication is now the subject of numerous studies. If in its first meaning communication can be thought of as a simple fact to build speech to create a positive image, if we developed more we can consider that it’s mainly political. It consists to “implement a coherent overall action and systematized in order to influence public opinion”. The term communication has itself evolved, first being used as a transitive verb (we communicate something to someone) or intransitive (communicating with someone), it is becoming more and more independent, using without the addition of object, « as if the act of communicating could exist in itself ».

Communication also adapts to the actualities. For example, when we meet a crisis like the one we are now faced with the advance of the Islamic State, the communication strategy should be adequate. We speak of crisis communication in general, or war communication. We have chosen to study war communication through the case of the Islamic State. The latter, also called “Daech” is a terrorist organization who is implanted in Syria and Iraq. It’s a part of the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaida, it has developed in Syria since 2011. The terrorist group used an elaborate propaganda and he had the support of some tribes in Iraq and Syria; our propaganda is based around the « Caliphate »3 and is primarily intended to attract and encourage fighters rallies.

Indeed, with globalization, the belligerents seized the transformation of media practices. Media operating procedures, in particular for audiovisual and convergence with multimedia (press, radio, television), highlighted the importance of the official communication and of the actors present on the terrain4. Terrorism5 jihadist uses the two main symptoms of globalization and the information society: the satellite TV and the Internet. Meanwhile, The war communication of official institutes isn’t also the same as it ten years ago.

The communication actors, be they states, armed groups, corporations, must to respect the general rules of communication but they can move away from theory and adopt a strategy that would be their own: we will indeed see later that the strategy of actors can vary by their kind (depending on whether it be state actors or groups).

It thus seemed interesting to understand the interaction between the Islamic State and Western Coalition (France and USA) as the continuation of politics and war by other means. For this, we need to decrypt the communication strategies of these actors.

Several questions arise:

  • What communication methods are used by a State? By a terrorist group (political violence actor)?
  • What communication protagonists must adopt in time of international crisis?
  • Political communication from each party to the conflict is a response to that of his opponent?
  • Is communication a way to legitimize the actors?
  • How do the protagonists communicate to legitimize their actions?
  • What is the impact of communication of actor A of the actor B on the population?

In this problematization we can deduce the following question: How the war against the Islamic state is accompanied with a communications war?

To answer this question, firstly we will see that crisis communication can be theorized (I) and that the protagonists of the crisis appropriate it to serve their own interests and to discredit the adversary (II and III).

 1. The construction of speech and images: the importance of communication in a crisis situation

A. Public communication and crisis communication: the fundamental challenge of building a coherent strategy

To understand the communication, first of all, we must to understand that it can be considered through of « a context, a particular issue and a relationship with one or more recipients. » We chose to study the communication of Western States and of the terrorist group Daech but before we focus on that, we think that we should consider the springs of communication in general. We need to question the goals and the targets of communication for it makes sense. The Communication responds to an interactive process, it is put in place when the actor needs to inform, reassure, or to legitimize it. Sometimes, communication it’s also a response to another exterior event. Without listening and taking into account the expectations of stakeholders, « communication would only be a linear flow of information. »7. Indeed, to communicate it is necessary both to know yourself, know the object on which we communicate and know the recipients of the message that one vehicle. For this, it is necessary, after determining the intended purposes, to establish a thoughtful and coherent communication strategy. However, despite the work of building images and messages, communication leaves room for uncertainty because there may be a gap between « the desired image, the actual image, that which is seen and that which is possible ». According to Jean Pierre Piotet who heads the Observatory of Reputation, « the image concerns more the short term and meet a goal of” make to love “, while reputation would be in the long term and meet a goal of establishment or strengthening of confidence». In all cases, communication is thought and implemented in order to convince.

It is also important to distinguish between different types of communications. Globalization has been accompanied by increasing the communication channels and by a diversification its media (written, oral, intranet, social networking, television, press). After a long « standardization »10, communication can now be designed to have an international echo, and therefore, it adapts and takes greater account of local particularity. As part of our presentation, we will partly take an interest in public communication and more specifically to the communication of States. Public communication is one of the mechanics necessary for the functioning of democracy (alongside political communication). The State intends to communicate can’t do it without asking a certain number of questions. It must have an strategy established in inside before disseminating information externally. For that it needs to build a communication plan that assumes an answer to some questions: « What to say? To whom? For what purpose? With what technique?. Indeed, the goal is to clarify both his intentions, priorities and expectations, and to know how the message should be passed (in what form, in what tone) and do it at the right time to deal with the current context.

The difficulty is that in the context of action or threat of terrorism, hostage-taking, management of information and communication becomes even more difficult. This is a crisis that involves crisis management and crisis communication. The crisis is qualified by an initiating event (the provocations of Daech group to Western states and threats), a favorable context (the tensions internationally) and an amplifier part (executions)11. Executions of hostage represent a breaking point that will change perceptions and the order of things. Then follows an escalation phase, the equilibrium that existed is no longer appropriate and hostilities are even more present. In that time, communication is even more virulent.

Actually, the issue of terrorism is a sensitive issue that touches the heart of the nation and creates a strong reaction from the population. Faced with such scale event, the State cann’t remain silent. The crisis called a flash intervention in public communication. It should first ask three elements: the recognition that there is a problem, demonstration of serious and the designation of responsible (put in place actions if we can), and finally the recognition of parties concerned. Even if the government can’t contain the problem immediately, is expected of him a speech and the decision of proper position. These would include the choice of words and the implementation of concrete actions. In this way, the Government Information Service has therefore created in 2006 a department in charge of crisis communication. The latter is presented as « to be the subject of special attention in terms of communication. »12. Crisis situations require special communication because the crisis leads to a questioning of the trust, loss of traditional benchmarks, chain reactions, a recovery of information by different actors. Communication must then focus on processing mode of resolutions of problems rather than the problems themselves (this requires immediate dissemination of factual information, an analysis of the different parameters of the crisis intervention…). This gait allows to « meet the expectations of the interlocutors, to dispel their anxiety and avoid slippage of too rapid communication. » Therefore, the posture of Western states facing Daech Group has a twofold objective, which is to take charge of the situation and to make to know that the situation is controlled.

After describing the general principles of the public communication strategy, and crisis communication, we will now consider the passage of a crisis communication to a war communication. Verily, the acts perpetrated by the Islamic State have changed speeches and intentions, modifying the communication of others actors.

B. The establishment of a war communication to respond to terrorism

Since no ultimatum can’t be established and no consensus can’t be reached between the Western Coalition and Daech, the crisis has given way to a more direct intervention and a scathing speech by Westerners States. This is reflected to the passage of a Communication to condemn and punish by communicating a willingness to intervene in Iraq. For Michel Mathien, professor in communication sciences : « more than any” crisis communication “, the war of communication is a direct extension of the political purpose of” making war “and its logic: the push to extremes in the use of force that results for the parties. »14. And this can’t be done without government communications and the mass media. The terrorist act has shaken the traditional political calendar and involves a significant adaptability on the part of those in power. This is even truer that « political regimes in which we live are struggling to accept violence as terrorists reintroduce suddenly. »15 The show they hear implement requires a communication device and a reaction from the other. By its violent and death of citizens burst, terrorism breaks the security pact established between the state and its people and undermines the legitimacy of public power. The effectiveness of a response to terrorism does not lie essentially « in the quality of anti-terrorist services but also an appropriate communication and perceptible. »16. The communication of war requires above all a symbolic struggle. Before they can even consider real success on the field (dismantling networks, military victory, criminal conviction), the government must implement a communication that takes into account work on « perceptions of reality and disseminating adequate patterns interpretations. ». Indeed, the goal is to propose appropriate readings from the event to re-legitimize the discredited state and meet the expectations of the population. The answer to terrorism leaves a huge space at the speech. According to Jean-Louis Marret, researcher in the field of terrorism « (…) communication strategies in these areas, to be effective, are most often simplicity. They offer, in this sense, a representation of information and at least for this reason, they are a fundamental part of the anti-terrorist public policy. This search for simplification is similar to the search for efficiency. ». The speech is also intended as a Manichean. It is put forward patriotism, sense of duty and responsibility but also hate the designated enemy. Governments found for that the relay of press and mass media which take this argument and diffuse them even more sharply. To justify the intervention and convince of the merits of the war, the language elements are crucial. According to François-Bernard Huyghe (researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations), the communication aims to demonstrate that « the cause is just, the fight against terrorism, us / them, bad / good. These are the fundamentals of the “war communication ». The communication must be efficient the day or terrorist acts are perpetrated it but it must also be part of a broader and more consistent strategy over the long term. The media coverage is a structural element of the terrorist action and the symbolic dimension is a fundamental trait. This legitimation process aims ultimately to obtain the consensus of the population affected by violence. The communication of condemnation passed, we have a communication who consist to the legitimation of the action. The feedback we communicate are also inscribed in a logic of proximity to citizens and political representatives. The communication of war should not overlook the different audiences. It must be asserted against designated enemies, population who have scared, but must also be justified to the victims and families of victims. According to Patrick Lagadec, “We need to implement a rapid information according to human terms, a presence marked by tact and concern not to forget anyone, offering remedies to overcome the many difficulties presented (coordinated associations known for their competence in the specific area, crisis cellule).». It is essential to measure the facts and their scope and never minimize at the contempt of the victims. Without this strategy, no message can show credible. The important thing is to put all the symbolic weight of their authority and to convince as widely as possible not anymore a communication of war but actions of war.

After considering some of quite general goals and communication strategies of war, we will now study concretely communication of France and the United States to the Islamic State.

2. War communication serves political will.

After we saw the theorical aspect of crisis communication and its passage to war communication, the goal of this following part is to study occidental communication against ISIS.

A. War communication as vector of legitimacy: the projection of occidental forces against ISI.

Generally, war communication aims to traduce the political will of the State which decides to declare war or to act hostilely. It shows the rise of extremism and violence plus, it permits to design clearly the adversary.

The war our governments want to establish against terrorism is accompanied by a media war which can be illustrated by exchanges of pictures, videos and strong speeches.

While ISIS uses terror and violence to promote its communication, the occidental Coalition answers with determination and doesn’t cease to remind its superiority, on the technical and technological levels. Only this kind of superiority will allow to gain advantages of the enemy.

It’s possible to illustrate this example with a video published online by the French media « Marianne ». This video is representative of the communication strategy, it shows that an American drone targets an ISIS tank, which is finally destroyed.

This video’s aims at showing the enemy that the European Coalition is fully functional and knows where to aim with adequate material resources.

The American video had to be broadcasted at a large-scale with no limitation of access because it’s clearly in favor of the occidental communication: the targets have easily been hit.

Communication strategy is « offensive » and intends to reflect its strength. Indeed, while ISIS communicates by displaying terror to show that no State or population can be spared by its development, the Coalition answers by attesting that its power is already recognized worldwide.

Then, we can observe a constant interaction between both of the strategies: State communication face to terrorist communication. Therefore we can wonder if the communication of an actor depends on the one its opponent chooses? Is the choice of the strategy linked to the message the actor wants to spread?

The access of occidental communication against ISIS is mostly free, with data put on open sources without any restriction. It has to be share up to the Islamic troops to threat them, firstly by their content and secondly by their quality which shows that occidental troops are able to target and monitor them.

It’s a sort of transparency and clarity of information, in opposition to ISIS videos and pictures which are of poor quality.

This way to communicate is important and new: in comparison, the American communication about the U.S intervention in Iraq was a lot less noticeable, because harder to legitimate.

Occidental governments have realized the importance of media influence on public opinion. That’s why it is a priority to broadcast information but not just any information. There is a strict respect of the « zero death visible » theory. Even though deaths caused by the attacks are obvious, bodies and blood are never showed.

Visual communication stays discreet and partial, with the will to transmit the illusion of the « clean war » in opposition to terrorist entity which enjoys showing death.

It is possible to explain these differences by the perception occidental have on death. ISIS knows that occidental people are sensitive to violence and death, this knowledge give them an advantage they don’t hesitate to use to chock. However ISIS considers it as an occidental weakness, it is actually transformed as a strength. Governments shows they’ve got other choices than violence, they can use diplomacy, technic, technology. The large communication organized around occidental capacity tends to legitimate the action and to improve people’s confidence in states.

The way occidental governments choose to promote the « clean war » is strategic because it forms a way to differentiate « us » and « them ». This distinction is important during international crisis because it allows to identify with one of the camps. That can explains why occidental governments shows videos and pictures of dead bodies caused by ISIS but they never shows clearly death on the ISIS side. The view is determinant of the way people apprehends things : if we don’t see that our armies cause death to the other side, it’s easier to think that we handle differently the crisis.

Population’s opinion, in favor or not, of a military commitment, is decisive of the support the governments will get. It becomes easy to understand that the Coalition’s communication exists to inform citizens and legitimate the military. It’s therefore necessary to discredit the opponent by showing his weaknesses and our ability to win the war.

Lastly, we noticed the change of name to the adversary: from the name « Islamic State », we headed to the name « group Islamic State ». Even though this difference can seen mean less, it’s yet very symbolic in terms of communication strategy. By adding the word « group » we manage to discredit the enemy knowing that Islamic State has never been recognized internationally as a real State. It aims to reposition the terrorist group where it belongs and give it less importance regarding international law.

 B. The differences between internal communication strategies: case of France and United-States.

Although the communication is unanimous against ISIS, it’s possible to show that there are still differences in the internal speeches, mostly. This following part aims to study the cases of France and the United-States.

These differences can be explained, firstly, by their own mentalities and secondly by the difference rank the two States occupy in the international community. Even if France is well recognized as an international leader, the United-States occupy the highest rank in the international order.

Nowadays, France is crossed by an important crisis in terms of political representativeness. Even though the government want to spread the figure of a strong State facing terrorism, the American help is necessary for France to act.

Otherwise, internal media communication puts in difficulty the figure the State wants to spread. Medias tend to overestimate the capabilities of the enemy. This can be dangerous because it gives more influence to ISIS, which entertains itself by its reputation worldwide. French population shows defeatism and actual events highlight fear, mostly the view of a significant number of citizens are committed to ISIS or Al Qaeda. These elements lead us to wonder if there is a real internal communication strategy in France.

In parallel, America’s situation is different. Indeed, the United-States understood the importance of war communication at an internal level. It must be of high quality and based on morality to convince population the military commitment against terrorism is legitimate.

American communication is based on the will to share information with transparency and clarity to the population. They realized that the target of ISIS propaganda is the occidental population.

America is attached to the liberty of press but information must be « controlled » to gain credit with the citizens. American government has already faced the opposition of the public opinion and it led to an internal disorder and a political failure. It was the case during the Vietnam war when medias spread a picture showing a little girl, naked, running to protect herself from napalm.

American history and mentalities can explain the communication strategy put in order by the government. Citizens are sensitive to patriotic speeches the President addressed them. These speeches contain references to the success of democracy and the greatness of the nation.

The government managed to adapt its communication to the different targets and it’s possible to illustrate it with the video campaign addressed to young American citizens. It aims to counter ISIS propaganda addressed to young Muslims all over the world. American campaign shows that ISIS assault mosques and Muslims everyday, in order to show that the distinction between « them » and « us » shouldn’t separate the Muslims and other people.

Government speeches don’t aim to discredit American Muslims but to get rid of the idea that Islam is a warlike religion.

To support this argument, we can give the example of Obama’s speech of the 10th of September. The President spoke to a various public and adapted some parts of his speeches to different targets.

Even though the general idea of the speech is that the fight against ISIS will be long and difficult, other messages are spread:

  • To everyone: ISIS is a threat and will be defeated thanks to coalition forces.
  • To Middle-East actors: the US will give an important help but they also need to fight terrorism.
  • To the Congress: American can’t wait for their agreement to react but he wants them to support his commitment against ISIS.
  • To American citizens: he won’t cross the line that would put them in danger. He won’t send ground forces.
  • To ISIS members and occidental jihadists: he reminds that Muslims occupy an important role inside occidental societies, that ISIS doesn’t respect Koranic rules and most of all, that the United-States are not on war against Islam.

3. War communication : a strong weapon for the Islamic State

Although war communication is usually only used by States, The Islamic State changed the traditions as a non-public armed group which settled a true communication strategy like a State which would desire to legitimate its policy.

We will see the crucial investment of the Islamic State in the area of communication. Then, we will study the differences between the Western countries’ communication strategy and the ISIS’s one and the differences with other extremist groups.

A. A media victory for the Islamic State

Communication is in the center of this war which aims to settle a Caliphate.

The attention given to communication in the Islamic State’s strategy is emphasized by the employment of a communication expert.

Indeed, The Islamic State employed a communication chef project Rafiq Abu-Moussab. He made the movie “Flames of War” which is a propaganda documentary on the Islamic State’s victories.

This is also Rafiq Abu-Moussad who let the American website “Vice News” made a report on the Islamic State during three weeks in Syria. The important success of this report on the Internet led to a huge polemic in the United States.

ISIS has also a production agency called Al-Furqan Media Production which is able to make videos of high quality.

Thanks to this communication strategy the Islamic State is known in the whole world and has a very modern way to recruit people.

This is modern organization that can contrast with the values claimed by this group. They actually wish for a comeback to traditions, live at the time of Caliphates.

A caliphate “is an institution first created in the 7th century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Now revived by the jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis)”. It’s a form of government led by a caliph who is a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and the leader of the entire Muslim community.

They use social networks like Twitter in order to spread their message. Their twitter accounts are composed of violent pictures and day-to-day life pictures. They publish photos of cats and children to reassure people on their humanity. They use English for their hashtag tweets to touch a maximum of people: #ISIS. An application called “l’Aube des victoires” has been created and then banned by Google. The Islamic State has a web communication strategy technically advanced which allowed a better recruitment. « Billions of Occidentals leave to join their fight in Syria ». They use social networks to humanize their members and alert people to their cause.

Their videos that shock people (like the one with the decapitation of an English prisoner) are available on youtube, and diffused in part on our TV channels. This allows a large diffusion of their propaganda. That’s why we can talk about a media victory.

The scenes of the decapitations are reproduced: each time there is the murderer in black who speaks in English to Western chefs of States and the hostage in orange as to remember Guantanamo’s prisoners.

Western countries acknowledge the power of the Islamic State’s communication strategy.

“The war against ISIS has to continue on the Internet” judges Washington.

The American coordinator of the international coalition, General John Allen, qualified this propaganda of « horrible war (…) which aims at recruiting and perverting innocent people », during a meeting in Kuwait which aimed at « Talking about the means to beat the Islamic State’s communication and to face their activities on line. »

The American under secretary of public affairs, Rick Stengel, who led the delegation of his country, assured that the main purpose of this meeting was to create « a coalition of information in parallel of the military coalition » against the Islamic State.

These speeches prove the importance given to information and communication in the resolution of crisis.

The importance of communication in this conflict is shown by the change of the Islamic State (IS) communication strategy after the American military intervention.

Indeed, since this fall a policy of discretion has been settled by the IS.

That decision can be explained by the overuse of social networks by the members of the group. Some videos or pictures published by jihadists had helped the western coalition to find positions of trainings camps or other key information on the Islamic State’s positions.

Thus this media victory has to be put into perspectives. The use of social networks led to a better recruitment, a crucial provocation to the Western world, passionate reactions and suspicion between peoples. However the overexposure weakens them on a military plan.

B. A communication strategy with several purposes

We have seen that the communication strategy of the IS led to passionate reactions in the Western world. It seems to be their main purpose to spread the fear and turn the people against the other.

According to Marcel Sel the goal of the IS is not to change the policy or the opinion of the French government but to spread the fear to trigger a war between civilizations.

Theses videos are not made to convince people that they are doing the right thing unlike the war communication of the Western countries which aims at convincing people and the other countries to stop the IS. Indeed the Occidentals want to change the positions of certain countries such as Turkey. (Turkey refuses to send soldiers to help Kurd people to defend themselves against the Islamic State at the Turkish-Iraqi border.). But according to this author the goal of the Islamic State, as the goal of other extremist groups such as Al-Qaida, is to spread fear and mistrust within the “civilizations”. Indeed, in 2013 a journalist named Robert Fisk explained how the writer Abdel Bari Atwan (close to Ben Laden) discovered in 2005 a document called “La Stratégie d’Al-Qaïda jusqu’en 2020 ». This document displays the seven stages which have to lead to a world Muslim Caliphate. Through theses stages we can find the objective to build a globalized Muslim network. The last stage was the ultimate battle between civilizations.

So the Islamic state’s communication strategy and its goals clearly distinguish from the Westerner’s communication strategy.

Abdelasiem El Difraoui wrote a book called “Al-Qaïda par l’image. La prophétie du martyre”. He explains the final project of extremist Muslims. Their purpose would be to impose a simplified vision of the world reduce to Islam rules and considering the martyrdom as the unique form of salvation.

The image of martyr is used by the Islamic State’s speech. The power of this image in Islam helps jihadists to justify their fight and even better to rally the rest of the Muslims.

Indeed, the martyr called “Chahid”, which can be also understood as a witness, led to different interpretations of Koran. The “Chahid” is the one who gives evidence of his faith. But this word is used by the extremists to justify their fight: the Jihad. Soldiers who are dead for the Jihad had become martyrs and will get a pay back in Heaven.

This idea of martyr can seduce people who want to die for their religion. Violent videos or pictures are published on the social networks. This videos are short and violent such as violent video games that young people are used to practicing. So this communication strategy aims at recruiting young soldiers from every country. In order to achieve this goal they use social networks such as Twitter. We observed several accounts of jihadists who have the same interests of a usual young Occidental man.

But the Islamic State’s strategy is different from other extremist Muslim groups’ ones such as Al-Qaida. This difference of communication strategy can be explained by the gap between their main goals.

According to Romain Caillet the Islamic State has an advantage on Al-Qaida.

Indeed, Al-Qaida wants a globalized and non-territorialized fight whereas the Islamic State wants to built a real state. The Islamic State searches fighters to join its troops whereas Al-Qaida is dispersed and searches men and women to fight the Occidental values individually. Al-Qaida pushed people to commit crimes whereas the Islamic State is recruiting. « Al-Qaïda s’attaque à l’occident et aux non musulmans, l’EIIL veut construire un Etat fort, quitte à s’attaquer aussi à des musulmans, et nargue l’occident en recrutant en son sein. » The Islamic State doesn’t want to be associated to Al-Qaida and the Al Nusra front in Syria. The Islamic State wants a real state where they could settle a Caliphate. They murder the Muslims who don’t agree with them. It’s not only a fight against the Western citizens.

This difference between the goals can explain the difference between their communication strategies. Indeed, Al-Qaida uses Facebook and Twitter too but in a less efficient way. The American expert J-M Berger noticed that the hashtag « ISIS » was a lot more used than the one of their competitor in Syria the Jabbahat al-Nusra group (linked to Al-Qaida). Al-Qaida continues to hold on traditional websites even if the young population less uses these websites.

« Comme l’expliquait récemment Romain Caillet, chercheur à l’Institut français du Proche-Orient et spécialiste du salafisme, «Al-Qaida se ringardise». »

The willing to settle a real government by the Islamic State is well traduced in its communication. Indeed, we have noticed the uniformity of the battledress of the soldiers who fight for this group. It proves that Daesh is a real State strength.

Wassim Nassr explains that for the first time they put on the same feet the Western hostages and the hostages of the Syrian army.

In the video of the organization of the Islamic State called « N’en déplaise aux mécréants » the place of the hostages’ murder is a symbolic place. Indeed, Dabiq is a plain situated in Syria, on the Northeast of the city of Alep. This plain is mentioned on the beginning and at the end of the video. This place has a significant meaning in Islam. According to the « Hadith » (words of Mahomet reported by Abou Hourayra), this venue is where the ending battle between the Muslim armies and the Occidental ones will take place. According to the journalist the Islamic State wants to demonstrate its willing to fight against the soldiers of the coalition on the battlefield.

The communication strategy of the Islamic State is modern and efficient. That’s why we can talk about a media victory. But the overuse of social networks by the jihadists has weakened their military strategy. Not only they don’t have the same communication strategy as the Western countries but they also don’t have the same way to communicate than Al-Qaida. (Their main competitor in the Middle East).

The Islamic State has well understood the importance of communication in a war. They use their communication skills to recruit, to frighten, to terrify, to divide.


We saw during this presentation that communication can be considered as a strong weapon for the one who knows how to use it. Indeed, it can serve the cause we fight for and allows to legitimate our actions with the population.

The war led by the Coalition against ISIS is supplanted by a communication war in so far as the protagonists rely a lot on speeches, videos and pictures to convince.

In one hand, members of the Coalition communicate with clarity to show ISIS exactions and weaknesses. The final goal being to legitimate their own actions of war but also to prevent any occidental support to the troops the Islamic State.

Communication is therefore directed to internal and external levels, with a message which is supposed to be spread as much as possible.

In the other hand, there is a terrorist group which communicates in a different way and mostly targets external public. The goal being to share their hatred of the other because he has different values beliefs and perception.

The communication established by these actors differs according to the message they want to spread and the public they want to target.

It’s important to remind that it’s difficult to talk about a good or bad communication. Because it has to be adapted to the public, the communication can’t be considered objectively. Only effective methods of communication exist such as transparency or clarity although there are some limits to these methods, mostly transparency.

Indeed, can a State communicate about everything and share every information with its people?


Source photo de couverture:,119901.php

Auteurs: Johanna Hakmon, Alex Pommateau, Mélanie Trabichet

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