Imogen Richards
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The Introduction sets out the rationale for and approach of the book, clarifies several important characteristics of the phenomena of neo-jihadism and neoliberalism, and explains the evolutionary attributes of neo-jihadism that inform the following chapters. Differing from other, strategic analyses of these groups, this chapter argues that the various ways in which these organisations repurpose and reconstitute neoliberalism are in certain respects unsurprising. It suggests that in their finance, propaganda, and state- and community-building, Al Qaeda and Islamic State reconstruct elitist and oppressive political-economic hierarchies in a similar manner to historical examples of power-cum-resistance during the 1917 Russian Revolution, Mao Zedong’s China in the 1930s, and the US-backed ‘Purple’, ‘Orange’, ‘Cedar’, and ‘Rose’ revolutions in Iraq, Ukraine, Lebanon, and Georgia in the 1990s and 2000s. Far from endorsing the violence of organisations such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State, the chapter argues that understanding neo-jihadism in dialectical relation to the dominant political-economic environments it operates within provides an avenue through which to address a prevailing ‘epistemological crisis’ in contemporary counterterrorism.

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Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism

Propaganda and finance in Al Qaeda and Islamic State


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