Can we understand The Islamic State as a revolutionary group? And should we? If the answer is positive, what are the implications that follow? I discuss a number of dimensions, including combat, organization, and governance to assess the extent to which the experience of revolutionary groups during the Cold War, mostly of various Marxist persuasions, may help enhance our understanding of the current practices and future prospects of the Islamic State. I argue that thinking of the Islamic State as a revolutionary group opens up new perspectives that take advantage of the recent historical record, while shielding us from overly exceptionalist interpretations.
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The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…