Dehumanisation in religious and sectarian violence: the case of Islamic State

Gilbert Ramsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


It is often taken more or less for granted that perpetrators of mass killings and other acts of violent atrocity dehumanise their victims in order to justify killing them. Drawing on the past decade of developments in psychological theories of dehumanisation, and on representations and explanations of killing provided by Islamic State, this paper argues for a more complex understanding of the role of notions about humanity and inhumanity in the legitimation of violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-578
Number of pages17
JournalGlobal Discourse
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2017


  • Dehumanisation
  • Violence
  • Religion
  • Sectarianism
  • Islamic State
  • Ideology


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