Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Pete Simi

Second Advisor

Dennis Hoffman

Third Advisor

Lorine Hughes


This dissertation focuses on neo-Nazi and violent jihadi propaganda and its role in defining social boundaries. Frame analysis was used to gain a deeper understanding of how neo-Nazis and violent jihadis construct propaganda to neutralize objections and promote drift. Specifically, diagnostic and prognostic frames were analyzed for 10 "effective" propagandists and two "ineffective" propagandists in a comparative framework. This research uses a social psychological perspective, paying particular attention to the emotion of shame and advances the "violence as communication" model into "terrorism as criminogenic propaganda." Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze how neo-Nazi and violent jihadi propagandists incorporate diagnostic and prognostic frames as techniques of neutralization. Specifically, I analyzed: (1) frame typologies, (2) relationships between frames, (3) location of frames, and (4) frame prevalence. The results provide a better understanding of the link between terrorist propaganda and radicalization and can be used to inform future research and policy decisions.


A Dissertation Presented to the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Ph.D.

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