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Propaganda of the Deed 2008: Understanding the Phenomenon

Neville Bolt, David Betz and Jaz Azari
Whitehall Reports, 11 September 2008
Counterinsurgency, Terrorism
Propaganda of the deed is a little understood phenomenon. But recent manifestations of it in the last decade have once again propelled it into the public consciousness

The propaganda of the deed (POTD) is a little understood phenomenon. In the public imagination it reads simply as terrorism. Its violence seduces some but horrifies and alienates the majority. In the world of policy-making it remains largely divorced from its theoretical context. It belongs to a landscape of violence aimed at states, eliciting a police or military response. Recent manifestations of POTD in New York (2001), Madrid (2004) and London (2005), together with daily atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought the deed to the fore of public consciousness throughout the world. They underline the urgency of penetrating this phenomenon in 2008.

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