A Conceptual Framework of the 'Islamic State' and Its Containment
31 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2017 Last revised: 15 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 14, 2017
The transformation of the “Islamic State” from a local insurgent organization to a regional hierarchic and territory-based state-like entity and now to a global clandestine network-based terrorist organization does not make containment obsolete. Within limits, containment can effectively continue to halt the “Islamic State’s” ideology and violent offshoots. While containing the “Islamic State” can be informed by historical experience, it needs to adapt to new circumstances of the actor’s nature and political context. This article conceptualizes the “Islamic State’s” shifting structure (a state-like entity now transforming to a network) and hybrid modes of agency (secular and religious). Based on the framework that ties together those concepts, the paper illustrates why containment is applicable against the “Islamic State”. A second step illustrates how containment can be an effective strategy confronting this entity, even while it is degenerating in its infamous form.
Keywords: Containment, Conflict, International Society, Islamic State, George F. Kennan, Political violence, Terrorism
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