“Flexible” capital accumulation in Islamic State social media

Imogen Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores online social media produced by the neo-jihadist group “Islamic State” (IS) from a political-economic perspective. Using a framework developed by anthropologist David Harvey, it examines how IS social media operates within depoliticised neoliberal environments characterised by “flexible” regimes of capital accumulation. It explicates how IS acquires political-economic capital by evoking “spectacle”, “fashion” and a “commodification of cultural forms”. Drawing from Christian Fuchs’ informational theory, the article also considers the roles of agency and competition in accumulation processes where “knowledge and technology reinforce each other”. By revealing how IS both constitutes and is constituted by its flexible approach to social media, the article seeks to illuminate avenues for better understanding neo-jihadist ideations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-225
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016

Keywords

  • capital accumulation
  • commodification
  • competition
  • Islamic State
  • Neo-jihadist
  • spectacle

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