OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Violent Extremism in the Middle East: A Complex Systems Analysis of Loyalty and Intransigence


Internet Communication Technologies (ICT) are changing the way that people learn, do business, build relationships and manage their lives. The interaction between governing systems within a state and the residents within that state are considered complex adaptive systems (CAS). Thomas Homer-Dixon (1999) asserts that CAS are primarily driven by feedback mechanisms that determine the nature of the activity while perpetuating interactions within the system. The collection of states in the Middle East regulated by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Qatar, have been especially adept at engaging the world and each other through the internet. This interplay constitutes a complex adaptive system, where one mechanism (the internet) interacts with a diverse population, resulting in emergent outcomes. Civilians under the leadership of oppressive regimes are finding new ways to solve problems of corruption, poverty, unemployment and opportunity constraints. This fluidity of thought in problem solving, innovation and creative reform is due, in part, to a global culture that regularly utilizes ICT’s. There are, however, those who remained fixed; unwilling to shape new policies to accommodate a new psychosocial, global and technological landscape. This study examines the correlation between ICT’s, education, unemployment and propensity to resort to violence in response to oppression through the lens of loyalty (fixed perspectives aligned with oppressive governance) and ‘relative’ intransigence against loyalist perspectives that reflect fluidity and openness to experience aligned with healthy reform. It also tests Thomas Homer-Dixon’s approach to examining complex adaptive systems (CAS) using Social Network Analysis and Social Ecology Theory

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