Tracking narrative change in the context of extremism and terrorism: adapting the Innovative Moments Coding System

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)
  • University of Minho
  • University of Aveiro
  • Universidade Portucalense Infante D.Henrique


Existing models of deradicalisation, countering violent extremism (CVE), and counter-terrorism (CT) have lacked a clear theory of change, as well as robust empirical methodologies. This paper proposes an empirically-based systematic and transparent methodology – the Innovative Moments Coding System (IMCS) – which is empirically sensitive, ethically defensible, and can be of use in the context of research to inform practitioner contexts. Through a case study of former violent militants, we explore the adaptation and usage of this instrument to identify and track self-narrative change in the processes of engagement and disengagement, as well as radicalisation and deradicalisation in the context of violent extremism and terrorism. We illustrate how this methodology has the potential to bring benefits to the work of researchers involved in producing guidelines for disengagement, deradicalisation or risk-reduction interventions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Early online date11 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Deradicalisation, Methodology, Radicalisation, Risk assessment, Risk management