The International Jihadi Movement After the Arab Uprisings


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MENARG kindly invite you to the following lecture on “Contempory Islam”. During this lecture series national and international guests will be sharing their insights on contemporary forms of Islam and the many forms of being Muslim in Belgium and the Arab world in an interdisciplinary manner.

The Arab uprisings of 2011 opened up new spaces of contention. The political transformation of the region reinforced the international jihadi movement as important political actor. The development of Salafi-jihadism as the latest generation of radical Islamism is thus strictly related to the political evolutions in the region. Born in the 1990s, in the aftermaths of the Afghan war and the American intervention in Iraq, it flourished as a fusion between the Wahhabi and Qotbian political/religious thought.

After the Arab spring and the process of moderation of the Muslim Brotherhood, international jihadi movement further elaborated and has been able to take root in local processes of contention. Today it represents the radical wing of the Islamist movement. Fabio Merone argues therefore that the future challenge lies in the integration of the jihadi movements in the middle/long term in processes of political participation.

Fabio Merone is a PhD candidate at the Middle East and North Africa Research Group, Ghent University. Based in Tunisia for over 12 years, he’s doing research on the evolution of Islamism in Tunisian democratic transition. Fabio Merone has published in several academic international journals including among others “Democratization”, “Middle East Policy”, “British Journal of Eastern Studies”,“Middle East Law and Governance” and “ Journal of Political Ideologies”. He has been teaching at the University of Laval, Quebec. With Francesco Cavatorta, Merone has edited the forthcoming book “ Salafism after the Arab Awakening. Contending with people’s power ».

Sami Zemni is professor in political and social sciences at the Conflict Research Group a multidisciplinary research unit at Ghent University. He coordinates and leads the Middle East and North Africa Research Group. His area of expertise is politics within the Middle East and North Africa region, with special reference to political Islam. He focuses on processes of neoliberalisation, globalization and political change in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.

This lecture series is possible thanks to the support of the Baillet Latour Fund.