- Series: Rebels
From Global Network to Local Franchise
Al-Qaeda, the first transnational terrorist group of the 21st century, embodies the new enigmatic face of terrorism. Since perpetrating the most destructive act of terrorism to date on September 11th 2001, it has dominated discussions over national and international security. Yet, even now, despite what so-called ‘experts’ might claim, we know surprisingly little about it as an organization. What is the physical and ideological make-up of this group that features so prominently on our security radar? What lies behind the espousal of Islam, anti-Americanism and the resort to violence? Does al-Qaeda, as some commentators have proclaimed, challenge the stability and the political order of the international system? In this concise but comprehensive volume, Hellmich draws on a wealth of Arabic-language sources-much of it previously unavailable in English-to provide a penetrating overview of the organization, its members and ideological make-up. Moving beyond this, she maps al-Qaeda’s transition from a global network to localized fragments in the broader context of theoretical and conceptual concerns that arise from the post-9/11 debate.
The Longest Insurgency
To many – the Colombian, U.S. and the E.U. governments among them – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is no more than a terrorist organization. Moreover, they claim that the FARC is only engaged in criminal activities and no longer maintains an ideology. But does this tell the whole story? Is it possible to engage in armed revolutionary struggle in order to achieve political and ideological objectives without perpetrating acts of terrorism? As the U.N.’s special envoy to Colombia noted in 2003, it would be ‘a mistake to think that the FARC members are only drug traffickers and terrorists.’
Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global
In 1994 a guerilla army of Indigenous Mayan peasants in Southeast Mexico emerged and declared ‘Enough!’ to 500 years of colonialism, racism, exploitation, oppression and genocide. The effects of the Zapatista uprising were profound and would be felt beyond the borders of Mexico. At a time when state-sponsored socialism had all but vanished and other elements of the left appeared defeated in the face of neoliberalism’s ascendancy, the Zapatista uprising sparked a powerful new wave of transnational socio-political action. In exploring the movement’s origins, history, structure, aims, political philosophy and possible new directions, Alex Khasnabish provides a critical and comprehensive overview of one of the most important rebel groups in recent history.