Investigating the Influence of Islamic State’s Discourse in Jordan


Abstract: Guided by the general investigation of the “discursive assault” launched by Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East and beyond, this paper examines the resonance of IS’ use of language in grassroots populations living in Jordan. Representing IS’ communication campaign as a sender-message-receiver continuum, this research aims to give primary importance to the message and its audience. Frame theory is used as the general framework to understand the formation and reception of IS’ discourse on the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. The analysis reveals that, while IS’ rhetoric on the perceived “crisis of the Ummah” and its solution seems to resonate inside Jordan, the social practices this solution entails failed to convince. In that sense, if IS succeeded to echo the grievances and resentment of its audiences in Jordan, the group was unable to attract generalized support for its caliphate. Nonetheless, this apparent rejection of IS’ project must be nuanced at the regional and state levels. After years of war in Iraq and Syria, the conditions that initially gave rise to IS remain. So, do the dynamics that nurtured the popular grievances against perceived illegitimate rulers.