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Title: The Jihadist discourse of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (2003-2005) : representational, intertextual and argumentative analysis
Authors: Alsamdani, Hadi Alhussin A
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis conducts a critical analysis of jihadist discourse. This is achieved by qualitatively analysing the content of Sawt al-jihad, a propagandistic e-magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) between 2003 and 2005. The aim of the research is to establish how the jihadist worldview is discursively constructed and legitimised. The investigation is in accordance with the research programme of the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) and draws on an interdisciplinary model to examine the discursive features of jihadist discourse. This model includes Bourdieu’s ‘capital theory’ and ‘symbolic power’, Islamic religious epistemology, the literature on intertextuality and theories connected to Aristotelian topoi. The thesis undertakes a three-pronged analysis. The first is a representational analysis concerned with the discourse topics preferred within AQAP discourse and how the relevant social actors/actions are constructed, focusing on representation of the Self and the Other. The second analysis explores the intertextual connections via which AQAP discourse appeals to, and overlaps with, prior (sacred) texts and hearers’ repertoires of ‘old knowledge’. In this discussion, I attempt to develop a novel and systematic analytic approach to intertextuality for analysing (politico)-religious discourses and to use this approach to analyse the structurings and restructurings of AQAP discourse, which might then be applied to other texts in the same genre. Finally, the third analysis is specifically concerned with the persuasive dimension and attempts to critically identify the topoi AQAP utilises to legitimise the Self and delegitimise the Other. The ultimate aim of this project is thus not only to contribute to the body of knowledge about radical jihadism from a CDA perspective, but also to make a substantial contribution to the study of the discursive construction and reproduction of such ideologies from a wider perspective, too.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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