Scott Ruston

Asst Research Professor (FSC)
TEMPE Campus


Scott Ruston is a Research Scientist with Arizona State University’s Global Security Initiative, a university-wide interdisciplinary hub for researching complex challenges in the global security arena, where he leads the GSI’s Decision Making research pillar. Also a member of ASU’s Center for Strategic Communication, Professor Ruston’s research focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of the information domain. He has applied his expertise in narrative theory and media studies to a variety of counter violent extremism and counter violent extremist ideology research contexts, including: analysis of extremist narratives; strategies for counter or alternative narratives; and the neurobiology of narrative comprehension.

He is co-author of Narrative Landmines: Rumors, Islamist Extremism and the Struggle for Strategic Influence (Rutgers University Press, 2012), as well as articles on strategic communication, extremist videos and the narrative potential of new media technologies.  He has presented widely on topics intersecting media, narrative/counter-narrative and terrorism to military, academic and non-governmental organization audiences.  Current research projects focus on analysis of propaganda and information operations in so-called Gray Zone operations, as well as narrative-based interventions influencing attitude, belief and behavior in organizational culture. 


  • Ph.D., Critical Studies, University of Southern California
  • M.A., Critical Studies, University of Southern California
  • B.A., English, Northwestern University

Research Activity

  • Corman, Steven Robert*, Davulcu, Hasan, Ruston Scott W.  Detecting Indicators of Gray Zone Operations through Narrative Framing.  Lockheed Martin Research Collaboration. (5/1/2017-11/30/2017)
  • Corman, Steven Robert*, Adame, Bradley, Ruston Scott W., Tsai, Jiun-Yi.  Changing the culture of concussion reporting among college athletes: The role of vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narrative. NCAA (3/1/2016-2/28/2019).
  • Ruston,Scott W*. Pilot Strategic Communication Research Project. GERMAN MARSHALL FUND OF THE US(11/1/2013 - 12/31/2013).
  • Corman,Steven Robert*, Brewer Jr,Gene, Cohen,Adam, Roberto,Anthony, Ruston,Scott W, Trethewey,Angela. Toward Narrative Disruptors and Inductors: Mapping the Narrative Comprehension Network and its Persuasive Effects. DOI - NBC(6/27/2012 - 12/26/2013).


Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
COM 493 Honors Thesis
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
COM 492 Honors Directed Study