Click here to read ICSR's latest report - ‘The Greatness of Her Position’: Comparing Identitarian and Jihadi Discourses on Women

The Religious Foundations of Political Violence

The Religious Foundations of Political Violence

Building on a longstanding academic partnership, TRENDS Research & Advisory and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), based in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, have launched a major new project to examine the religious foundations of political violence.

Western thinking about the interplay between religion and violence has traditionally been influenced by the secularisation thesis of the 20th century. Most notably, the works of Marx and Weber posited that in the wake of progress and modernisation (however understood) human beings are more like to base their beliefs, identity and actions on rational scientific thought, rather than the supposedly mysticism of religion. Yet, it is clear that development and modernisation have not lead to a retreat in either the appeal – or indeed zeal – of religious conviction in the 21st century. If anything, the current rise of global disorder and insecurity could even be said to have led to an increase, in some parts of the world at least, in religious observance.

Some discussions about contemporary political violence consequently overlook or neglect the role of religious narratives – particularly in discussion about terrorist actors. This comes despite the fact groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State clearly invoke and refer to a jurisprudential framework of obligation and necessity to explain their actions.

Recent Policy Reports

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    ‘The Greatness of Her Position’: Comparing Identitarian and Jihadi Discourses on Women

    The full report can be accessed here. Read on for the Introduction. hen women get…

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  • May012019

    ICSR Report Launch – ‘The Greatness of Her Position’: Comparing Identitarian and Jihadi Discourses on Women, Tuesday May 14th, 5.30pm

    Where: King’s College London When: Tuesday May 14th, 5.30pm This event will launch a report co-authored by…

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  • Apr152019

    Haftar’s Calculus for Libya: What Happened, and What is Next?

    By Research Fellow Inga Kristina Trauthig You can also find the full text here. In…

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