[P6380] Rebel Governances in the Middle East

Created by Ayse Lokmanoglu
Wednesday, 12/01/21 11:30 am


With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we saw Hezbollah, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and other extremist groups distribute statements online, claiming to the global audience that they are ensuring the health and safety of their populations (Clarke, 2020). Groups such as ISIS continue to mobilize their global constituency while losing territory (Kaczkowski et al., 2020). This panel examines plural approaches in state-building and rebel governances established by armed non-state actors in the Middle East through an actor-centric approach. The papers on this panel through different armed non-state actors in the region will demonstrate how they pursued effective governance and what made their choices unique to their case, but essential to the scholarship on rebel governances and state-building.
The first paper compares the role of ideology in the governance of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in two time periods, questioning the dynamic or static role of ideology within governance. Further building on the questions on ideology and governance in the panel, the second paper compares the symbols and symbolic power in Al-Shabaab's proto-state Islamist-insurgent governance project and practices in Somalia and Kenya, with other Sunni Islamist-insurgent groups, including ISIS and AQAP. The third paper through primary sources, consisting of interviews, explores the role of civilian employees in ISIS’s governance project. Through a gendered analysis, the last paper examines social constructions of the family unit in ISIS propaganda as a vehicle of legitimizing the Caliphate to the global audience. The panel with unique case studies from the region addresses the gaps in the rebel governance literature by demonstrating how ideology, religion, and symbols facilitate proto-state attempts within the region.


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