Terrorist groups use a fantastic variety of means to seize attention, explain themselves, and seek recruits and support: song and speech, “guerrilla theater,” leaflets, radio, cable TV, newspapers, print ads, books, videos, web sites, e-zines, and of course social media. In a highly original merging of media studies & terrorism studies, Christopher C. Harmon and co-author Randall G. Bowdish pair a medium of strategic communication with a named terrorist group. Examined in successive chapters are propaganda works of nationalists such as the Algerians and Irish; Maoists; secular Iranian dissidents; and other groups such as the potent Islamist organizations Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. The Terrorist Argument: Modern Advocacy and Propaganda is a 2018 release from Brookings Institution Press. Themes and highlights will be presented in an illustrated lecture and Q & A session by the lead author, Dr. Harmon.
Christopher C. Harmon graduated in the liberal arts from Seattle University and went on to Claremont Graduate School to study international relations and political philosophy and write a doctoral dissertation on terrorism (1984). For many years a professor at Marine Corps University, he is currently that school’s Bren Chair of Great Power Competition. He is lead author or editor of six books, including two editions of Terrorism Today and The Terrorist Argument (Brookings, 2018). Dr. Harmon has written essays or chapters for Orbis, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Oxford Bibliographies, and Cambridge University Press, and he serves on editorial boards for two terrorism journals. Uniquely, Harmon has directed graduate-level counterterrorism programs at both the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (Germany) and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (Hawaii).