Agreeing with Allan Luke (2002: 101), we feel that doing textual analysis, no matter how comprehensive, “requires the overlay of a social theoretic discourse for explaining and explicating the social contexts, concomitants, contingencies and consequences of any given text or discourse”. This Special Issue of Pragmatics and Society, edited by Dr Encarnación Hidalgo Tenorio and Dr Juan L. Castro, is born out of a collective effort to carry out a data-driven analysis of a particularly persuasive genre, such as jihadist propaganda in the context of extremist radicalisation. Thus, it revolves around one very particular expression of the discourse of terror, and delves into how this is being disseminated in various contexts (e.g. the school, the gym, the Mosque, and, specifically, the social media as a frame preserving anonymity and promoting immediacy).
A contribution like the present collection of papers is more than necessary at this moment, especially because of its inter- and transdisciplinarity both in method and in theory. Its object of research is twofold: Whilst the authors try to understand the causal factors of radicalisation, they engage in the analysis of how the discourse of Islamist extremism is articulated against different backgrounds and in various text types (either mono- or multimodal). Attention is paid to the strategies used for recruiting, indoctrinating and instructing a potentially global audience following all sorts of ISIS propaganda online.
In Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Discourse of Islamist Extremism, a collaboration between experts in psychology, political science, critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics and artificial intelligence has facilitated the effectuating of a challenging initiative that is supported by the Spanish Police Forces, and facilitated by three FEDER-Funded Research Projects: “Radicalised Discourses in the Social Media 1” (ref. A-HUM-250-UGR18), “Radicalised Discourses in the Social Media 2” (ref. P18-FR-5020) and “Nutcracker: System for Detection, Monitoring and Analysis of Terrorist Discourse on the Net” (ref. FFI2016-79748-R).