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This path-breaking collection of papers examines the phenomenon of jihadist insurgent movements in the Middle East and North, East and West Africa. It argues that military and strategic analysts have paid insufficient attention to the phenomenon of jihadism in insurgent movements, partly due to a failure to take the role of religion sufficiently seriously in the ideological mobilisation of recruits by guerrilla movements stretching back to the era of "national liberation" after World War Two. Several essays in the collection examine Al Qaeda and ISIL as military as well as political movements while others assess Boko Haram in West Africa, Al Shabaab in Somalia and jihadist movements in Libya. Additionally, some authors discuss the recruitment of foreign fighters and the longer-term terrorist threat posed by the existence of jihadist movements to security and ethnic relations in Europe
Overall, this volume fills an important niche between studies that look at Islamic fundamentalism and "global jihad" at the international level and micro studies that look at movements locally. It poses the question whether jihadist insurgencies are serious revolutionary threats to global political stability or whether, like Soviet Russia after its initial revolutionary phase of the 1920s, they can be ultimately contained by the global political order. The volume sees these movements as continuing to evolve dynamically over the next few years suggesting that, even if ISIL is defeated, the movement that brought it into being will still exist and very probably morph into new movements. Jihadist Insurgent Movements was originally published as a special issue of Small Wars & Insurgencies.