• The Islamic State as an Empire of Nostalgia

    Author(s):
    Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations (view group) , Thomas Barfield
    Editor(s):
    Michael Pregill
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations
    Subject(s):
    Islam, Violence--Religious aspects, Islam and politics
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    ISIS, Islamic extremism, Caliphate, Islamic empire, Empire, Religion and violence, Islamic political thought
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/kmk7-8g92
    Abstract:
    Primary empires were the product of internal development and self-sustaining through the exploitation of their own resources, but there were also historically a large number of “shadow empires.” These were imperial polities that were the products of secondary empire formation, which came into existence as a response to the formation of primary empires elsewhere and could not exist except in interaction with them. One unusual subset of these were “empires of nostalgia” that claimed an imperial tradition and the outward trappings of an extinct empire, but did not themselves meet the basic requirements of an imperial state such as direct control of territory, true centralized rule, or significant urban centers. The most famous European example was the Carolingian Empire established by Charlemagne and its long lived successor, the Holy Roman Empire, which survived as an institution for a thousand years. The Islamic State’s proclamation of itself as a reborn caliphate is now a contemporary example built on nostalgia in the Islamic world for a long-dead empire that still exerts a strong cultural attraction upon many Muslims. The Islamic State justifies its actions and ideologies by attempting to ground them in a lost golden age that they propose to restore.
    Notes:
    This is a stable archival PDF of an open-access, peer-reviewed journal article originally published at www.mizanproject.org/journal/.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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