Understanding Al Qaeda

Understanding Al Qaeda : Changing War and Global Politics

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This book controversially argues that Al Qaeda has clear aims, and that the only way to defeat it is to engage with its arguments in a serious way.*BR**BR*Since the publication of the first edition in 2006, Mohamedou has brought the text right up-to-date. Starting with Al Qaeda's creation almost twenty years ago, and sketching its global mutation, Mohamedou explains that there is a cogent strategy to Al Qaeda's actions. He shows that the 'war on terror' is failing, only serving to recruit more terrorists to Al Qaeda's cause. He also puts forward a case for how the international community can best respond. *BR**BR*Arguing that it is dangerous to dismiss Al Qaeda as illogical and irrational, this incisive and original book is important for policy-makers and ideal for undergraduates in international relations, Middle East studies and peace/conflict studies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 15.24mm | 272.16g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 074533167X
  • 9780745331676
  • 1,201,149

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables



1. Casus Belli

2. Changed Context

3. Purpose and Pattern

4. Fallacies and Primacies

5. Depth of Engagement





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Review quote

'This must stand as one of the most thoughtful analyses to date of the evolution of Al Qaeda, in its drivers and motivation, organisation, and tactics' -- Gerd Nonneman, Professor of International Relations & Middle East Politics, University of Exeter 'Very thought provoking' -- Richard H. Shultz Jr, Director of the International Security Studies Program at Tufts University's Fletcher School 'This sober and sobering analysis is essential reading for Americans and Europeans, and opinion leaders everywhere. In times of crisis, listen to those who tell you what you need to know, not those who tell you what you want to hear' -- Abdullahi An-Naim, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University 'A political analysis which provides a much-needed secular understanding of Al Qaeda as one among several organised forces in a rapidly changing international arena' -- Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University and author of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim 'Mohamedou is a top-notch academic. In today's world, you can't afford to miss this book' -- Tim Sebastian, award-winning former BBC foreign correspondent and presenter of HARDtalk
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About Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou is Professor of International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and teaches at the doctoral school at Sciences Po Paris. Previously the Associate Director of the Harvard University Programme on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, he is the author of A Theory of ISIS (Pluto, 2017) and Understanding Al Qaeda (Pluto, 2011).
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Rating details

7 ratings
2.85 out of 5 stars
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4 14% (1)
3 57% (4)
2 29% (2)
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