Developing grading processes for ideological content

Donald Holbrook, Max Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the development and application of methodological tools to measure and ‘grade’ the content of ideological material seen to promote violence and extremism. Our premise is that variation in such content suggests that the formulation of a substantive grading tool will provide analysts with an empirical foundation to detect the nature of these differences and highlight important distinctions. The paper argues that such an approach will offer ways in which to construct an evidence-based picture of what constitutes different layers of extremist fringes, as well as understanding how and when output from particular sources has changed over time. Initial shortcuts to understanding content, it is argued, fail to reflect these nuances, thus necessitating a more systematic approach. The paper develops a two-pronged approach to grading ideological material, presenting examples of Islamist extremist discourse to illustrate how the process might work in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
JournalJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Ideology
  • Grading
  • Extremist Media


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