Tribes and global Jihadism (2019)
in: Oxford scholarship online
Across the Muslim world, from Iraq & Yemen, to Egypt & the Sahel, new alliances have been forged between the latest wave of violent Islamist groups - including Islamic State & Boko Haram - & local tribes. But can one now speak of a direct link between tribalism & jihadism, & how analytically useful might it be? Tribes are traditionally thought to resist all encroachments upon their sovereignty, whether by the state or other local actors, from below yet by joining global organizations such as Islamic State, are they not rejecting the idea of the state from above? This relationship is key to understanding instances of mass 'radicalization', when entire communities forge alliances with jihadi groups, for reasons of self-interest, self-preservation or religious fervor.