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How revolutionary are Jihadist insurgencies? The case of ISIL


small wars and insurgencies introductionJournal abstract

This paper examines the rise of ISIL in the context of wider debates in the first half twentieth century on the nature and political direction of the early Bolshevik state model of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. It argues that there are some parallels between the Trotskyite internationalist tendency in Soviet Russia and of ISIL given the latter’s calls for revolutionary jihad against both ‘apostate’ states in the Islamic world and, in the longer term, against the Western world as a whole. ISIL though is distinguished by its attempt to carve out a new state formation of its own in parts and Iraq and Syria, a project that may well end in failure. However, even if its so-called caliphate fails, it cannot be expected to vanish from the scene since it can either re-emerge elsewhere in a region of weak or failing states or merge with its current rival Al Qaeda.

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