The citizen challenging the state: Islamic State and the recruitment of foreign fighters

Al-Dayel, Nadia (2020) The citizen challenging the state: Islamic State and the recruitment of foreign fighters. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis critically examines the role of the Islamic State’s foreign fighter. It argues that the projection in propaganda of reflexive, foreign fighters and migrants operates as a recruitment device. This evidence challenges current assumptions of foreign fighters, who are often tautologically confined to “religious ideological” motivations in a group pre-determined as religiously ideological. It reveals that the Islamic State is acutely aware of its salience as a competitive political actor, attempting to provoke a sense of political agency through an articulation of the fragile conditions in the citizen-state relationship.

This thesis is organised around three articles. The introduction contextualises the relevance of the Islamic State, followed by a literature review. Article one is a conceptual article, entitled “Articulating Political Agency: Foreign Fighters and the Dynamics of Authority”. It critically evaluates the ideological categorisation of the Islamic State and its foreign fighters before presenting an alternative consideration of membership through authority recognition. Article two, entitled, “‘Now is the Time to Wake up’: Islamic State Narratives of Political Awareness”, applies an innovative, blended methodology to foreign fighter recruitment material. It proves that narratives of political awareness in citizen-state relations scaffold religious themes. The final article is entitled, “Sexual Suppression and Political Agency: Evoking a Woman’s Support for the Islamic State”. It scrutinises an exclusive, “state” sanctioned, woman-authored advice column of the Islamic State. It first contextualises the salience of the column before exhibiting how the narratives provoke support through a multi- pronged approach at challenging state and patriarchal authority. The conclusion presents the implications of this thesis, detailing how the findings evidence that new conceptual and methodological approaches are necessary to understand the recruitment devices in contemporary religious terrorist organisations that compete for transnational support.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Mumford, Andrew
Daddow, Oliver
Keywords: terrorism, Islamic State, ISIS, recruitment, foreign fighters, Dabiq
Subjects: H Social sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political science > JZ International relations
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 59731
Depositing User: Al-Dayel, Nadia
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2023 09:44
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 09:44

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