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Historical Ambitions Meet Contemporary Obstacles: The Salafi Jihadist Challenge to the International System and the Role of US Hegemony.

Turner, John Albert. (2013) Historical Ambitions Meet Contemporary Obstacles: The Salafi Jihadist Challenge to the International System and the Role of US Hegemony. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis asks, what are the social, ideological and historical trends that have brought Salafi Jihadism into conflict with the US at the turn of the 21st century? It is proposed that one of the primary factors driving Salafi Jihadist violence against the United States and its allies lies in an incompatibility between the contemporary international system and the Salafi Jihadist vision of an Islamic political order. There has been since the origins of Islam a search for unity among the Muslim people and a political order legitimised through religiously sanctioned governance. Though these aims have been ongoing since Islam’s origins, in the contemporary era this is met with particular challenges. The international system is characterised by the sovereignty of nation-states. Despite persistent challenges to the international system and the greater interconnectivity of states through globalising processes, the state remains the most prominent manifestation of sovereignty. The contemporary period is unique as the most significant hegemonic power, the US along with other great powers, not only accepts the given order but as well actively seeks to maintain it. This has hampered the ambitions of Islamic actors who seek to continue to strive for the unity of the Islamic world and governance that has its legitimacy based in religion defined by a particular actor’s notion of what constitutes legitimacy in Islamic terms. These ambitions are presented with more profound obstacles than has been the case in previous historical settings. These historical ambitions have met with an international system that is structured in such a way that it is incompatible with this particular Islamic political narrative. The Salafi Jihadists are attempting to be the vanguard of Islam itself with their particular ideological understanding of Islamic political order, derived from the Salafist tradition. This imagined order is contradictory to the status quo of the contemporary international system that is in part characterised by state sovereignty. It is, therefore, the strategy of the Salafi Jihadists to disrupt the hegemon’s ability to maintain this order, in what could be understood as reflective of competing universalisms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Turner, John Albert.
Date : 2013
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2013.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:56
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:05
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856766

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