By Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs, Daniel Philpott and Timothy Samuel Shah
Is religion a force for good or evil in world politics? How much influence does it have? Despite predictions of its decline, religion has resurged in political influence across the globe, helped by the very forces that were supposed to bury it: democracy, globalization, and technology. And despite recent claims that religion is exclusively irrational and violent, its political influence is in fact diverse, sometimes promoting civil war and terrorism but at other times fostering democracy, reconciliation, and peace. Looking across the globe, the authors explain what generates these radically divergent behaviors.
By Nelly Lahoud, Former Associate, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program
Jihadi ideologues mobilize Muslims, especially young Muslims, through an individualist, centered Islam. Appealing to a classical defense doctrine, they argue that the mandates of jihad are the individual duty of every Muslim and therefore transcend and undermine both the authority of the state and the power of parental control.
By Thomas Hegghammer, Former Associate, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2009–2010; Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2009
This book presents the first ever history of Saudi jihadism based on extensive fieldwork in the kingdom and primary sources in Arabic. It offers a powerful explanation for the rise of Islamist militancy in Saudi Arabia and sheds crucial new light on the history of the global jihadist movement.
By Assaf Moghadam, Former Associate, International Security Program (ISP)/Initiative on Religion in International Affairs (RIIA), 2009–2010; former Research Fellow, ISP/RIIA, 2007–2009; former Research Fellow, ISP, 2004–2006
This groundbreaking volume examines the rise and spread of suicide attacks over the past decade. Sorting through 1,270 terror strikes between 1981 and 2007, Assaf Moghadam attributes their recent proliferation to the mutually related ascendance of al Qaeda and its guiding ideology, Salafi Jihad, an extreme interpretation of Islam that rejects national boundaries and seeks to create a global Muslim community. This unflinching analysis provides new information about the relationship between ideology and suicide attacks and recommends policies focused on containing Salafi Jihadism.
Terrorism: What the Next President will Face: The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Book, volume 618
The July 2008 edition of the ANNALS of the American Academcy of Political and Social Science. It includes eighteen chapters discussing a wide range of topics relating to terrorism, including Al Qaeda, Iran, andcounterterrorism intelligence.
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
La République de Dieu is a collection of essays on the idea of God; on evangelism ("La République de Dieu"); on Islamic fundamentalism ("L'Islam médiéval"); and followed by empirical chapters analyzing a number of conflicts between the Muslim and non-Muslim world: Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Arab/Israeli.
By Robert Rotberg, Director, Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Named an "Outstanding Academic Title for 2007" by Choice magazine.
November 22, 2006
By Jeremy Jones, Former Joint Research Fellow, International Security Program/The Dubai Initiative, 2004–2007
As the US demand for Western-style democracy in the Middle East grows ever more strained, Harvard Middle East expert Jeremy Jones travels through the region evaluating the prospects for change. He engages with diverse political cultures, from traditional assemblies in the Persian Gulf, to sophisticated multiconfessional politics in the Levant.
By Brenda Shaffer, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1999–2007; Former Research Director, Caspian Studies Program, 2000–2005; Former Research Director, Caspian Studies Project, 2005–2007
The contributors to The Limits of Culture find that, contrary to the currently popular view, culture is rarely more important than other factors in shaping the foreign policies of countries in the Caspian region.
Since September 11, 2001, much has been said about the difficult balancing act between freedom and security, but few have made specific proposals for how to strike that balance. As the scandals over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the "torture memos" written by legal officials in the Bush administration show, without clear rules in place, things can very easily go very wrong.