Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics

E-International Relations, 2014

52 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2014 Last revised: 3 Jan 2015

See all articles by Timothy Poirson

Timothy Poirson

University of St. Andrews

Robert Oprisko

Indiana University, Center for the Study of Global Change

Date Written: December 11, 2014


The events of the 2011 Arab Spring saw renewed hope for Arab Civil Society, at least in the eyes of Middle East observers. However, with the cases of Libya and Syria descending into civil war and chaos, and the Egyptian military still holding the country in a tight grip, the success of Civil Society at creating a space for itself is questionable. While the fall of seemingly immovable authoritarian regimes did not seem to profit much to Civil Society, Political Islamic movements took advantage of the vacuum to establish their bases and launch operations to implement their ideology. Two to three years after the first Uprisings, Islamist groups are making a strong comeback in certain middle east/north African countries. In Syria, Iraq, towns in Libya, and a town in Lebanon, groups like the Islamic State or Ansar al-Sharia are declaring caliphates in the territories they seize, in an attempt to fulfil the Political Islam ideal of a ‘global Islamic caliphate’ encompassing the entirety of the Muslim world. This edited collection aims to address common questions about Political Islam, as well as to provide an assessment of ISIS and finally challenge common understandings on the issue of Islam and democracy.

Keywords: Islamic Political Thought, Non-Western Political Thought, Islam, Islamic State, Caliphate

Suggested Citation

Poirson, Timothy and Oprisko, Robert, Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics (December 11, 2014). E-International Relations, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Timothy Poirson (Contact Author)

University of St. Andrews ( email )

Arts Building
The Scores
Saint Andrews, Scotland KY16 9AX
United Kingdom

Robert Oprisko

Indiana University, Center for the Study of Global Change ( email )

201 North Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408
United States


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