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Propaganda and finance in Al Qaeda and Islamic State
Author: Imogen Richards

Few social and political phenomena have been debated as frequently or fervidly as neoliberalism and neo-jihadism. Yet, while discourse on these phenomena has been wide-ranging, they are rarely examined in relation to one another. In response, Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism examines political-economic characteristics of twentieth and early twenty-first-century neo-jihadism. Drawing on Bourdieusian and neo-Marxist ideas, it investigates how the neo-jihadist organisations, Al Qaeda and Islamic State, engage with the late modern capitalist paradigm of neoliberalism in their anti-capitalist propaganda and quasi-capitalist financial practices. An investigation of documents and discourses reveals interactions between neoliberalism and neo-jihadism characterised by surface-level contradiction, and structural connections that are dialectical and mutually reinforcing. Neoliberalism here is argued to constitute an underlying ‘status quo’, while neo-jihadism, as an evolving form of political organisation, is perpetuated as part of this situation.

Representing differentiated, unique, and exclusive examples of the (r)evolutionary phenomenon of neo-jihadism, AQ and IS are demonstrated in Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism to be characteristic of the mutually constitutive nature of ‘power and resistance’. Just as resistance movements throughout modern history have ended up resembling the forms of power they sought to overthrow, so too have AQ and IS ended up resembling and reconstituting the dominant political-economic paradigm of neoliberalism they mobilised in response to.

Elyse Semerdjian

This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Fabrice Weissman

the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, did not prevent their execution. On the contrary, the silence of their organisation and the media may have bolstered the jihadist movement’s claim that they were spies, while enabling the British government to maintain, unchallenged, its intransigent no-negotiations policy ( Dettmer, 2014 ; Simon, 2014 ). In other words, while controlling information shared internally and with the public is one of the key factors in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Imogen Richards

dated back centuries, and the now prevalent IS branch, Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), used networks in the Pachir wa Agam district developed by non-state militants from the Afghan–Soviet war ( Sarban 2016 ). Despite the importance of such financial activity for IS and its regional partners, it is necessary to note the existence of strategic-military motivations for such partnerships. While long-standing economic partnerships existed between the US and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states, and Turkey has been a long-standing member of the US-led NATO

in Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism
Imogen Richards

Neo-jihadism’s evolution beyond AQ saw the emergence of AQI, Islamic State of Iraq, and then IS. As with propaganda produced by AQ, propaganda produced by IS condemned US military and economic activity and sought to rationalise neo-jihadist violence and recruit audiences with anti-Western and anti-capitalist grievances. Also consistent with AQ, IS spokespersons’ statements on the political economy of the US reflect the organisation’s geo-economic ambition. Where AQ propaganda over time increasingly focused on the non-material, financialised, and ideological

in Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism
Abstract only
Sam Haddow

16 1 Enemy/​image Not knowing how to share with another gaze our own passion to see, not knowing how to produce a culture of the gaze: this is where the real violence against those who are helplessly abandoned to the voracity of visibilities begins. Marie-​José Mondzain, 2009, p. 20 An indefinite state of emergency On 13 November 2015, nine gunmen carried out a series of coordinated mass-​assassinations in Paris, killing 130 people and wounding a further 368. The attacks were claimed by the organisation known variously as ISIL, ISIS, Da’esh and Islamic State

in Precarious spectatorship
Abstract only
Imogen Richards

The contemporary type of political violence sometimes referred to as ‘neo-jihadism’ developed in a dialectical, political-economic relationship with its US-directed military and counterterrorist opposition. While the neo-jihadist organisations, Al Qaeda (AQ) and Islamic State (IS), have since their inception propagandised on the basis of widespread anti-capitalist sentiments, at the same time they exploit and contribute to the mechanisms of neoliberal and late modern capitalist finance they condemn. The nature of the dialectic between AQ, IS, and their US

in Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism
Imogen Richards

the purpose of revealing the mutually constitutive nature of the entities in question. For the analysis in Chapters 3 and 4, neo-jihadist propaganda documents were obtained using a Boolean technique to search Google, Yahoo!, and Bing for various combinations of the keywords ‘Islamic State’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘speech’, ‘video’, ‘English-language’, ‘English translation’, from 1979 to 2014 for AQ and from 2014 to 2017 for IS. The credibility of the search results was assessed by the research method of triangulation ( Rothbauer 2008 ) and with consideration of the political

in Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism
Sarah Glynn

.) Jamaat organisations are rooted in South Asia, but they have links with sympathetic movements across the world, and see themselves as part of the Ummah, the international Muslim community – an internationalism encouraged by globalisation and transnationalism.5 Their ultimate aim is an Islamic state, but their strong core framework and outer flexibility allow them to adapt to different political and social situations. In Britain, Jamaat-inspired Islamists concentrate on dawah – spreading the word of Islam – on winning support through grassroots welfare work and on

in Class, ethnicity and religion in the Bengali East End
Jonathan Benthall

Fields of Blood , which went to press before the military successes of ISIS (the ‘Islamic State’) in the summer of 2014, deserves to be examined closely. She sees all fundamentalist movements as defiant self-assertions of identity against a more powerful ‘Other’. Protestant fundamentalism emerged in the United States in the early twentieth century as a reaction to

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times