A Short History of Jihadism Studies
Keywords:jihad, jihadism, jihadi-Salafism, terrorism, history
2018 marks the twentieth anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s fatwa calling for all Muslims to wage global Jihad against the US and its allies. The manifestation of Jihadism as a global militant ideology during this period has simultaneously fostered a growing field of research occupied with this phenomenon. This article identifies and discusses some of the primary debates and currents within the study of Jihadism in English language research literature over the past twenty years. Debates between advocates of local or global views of Jihadism, as well as debates on the question of religion as a cause of Jihadism, are identified as the most prevalent. The article further argues that the fundamental disagreements in the study of Jihadism reflect a research field compartmentalized into different scholarly approaches that do not sufficiently overlap. Furthermore, a too one-sided focus on al-Qaeda as the typical presentative of Jihadism from 2001 onwards has inhibited researchers from identifying diverging expressions of the phenomenon.
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Scandinavian Journal of Islamic Studies publish under creative commons license BY-NC-SA.