What is it about?

The essay provides a different explanation from the classic approach of the "clash of civilizations" theorized by Samuel P. Huntington, ascribing responsibility for the growth and expansion of the Islamic State to the complex framework of geopolitical alliances within the Muslim civilization and the Arab world. The paper highlights the attempt by Turkey to establish itself as a regional power and guidance of the Islamic world, by resurrecting the Caliphate, and, based on this, explains the contrast with the Islamic State, which goal is the foundation of a globalized Caliphate. The plans of the Turkish President Erdoğan for a Great Turkey, allied with Egypt, have foundered with the coup that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power. The study relates the connection of Ankara with the Kurds, regarding the management of the crisis in Syria and Iraq, and the Turkish liaison with regional powers (Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel) and other powers (Russia, Cina and USA).

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Why is it important?

This explains the political reasons that allowed the Islamic State to expand successfully in Syria and Iraq, by enabling to 'franchise' worldwide, and the role of the regional governments in this issue.


To understand why the Islamic State could expand so much its territory in Syria and Iraq, what is important is to understand the asymmetrical interactions between regional actors (Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Israel), the attitude of the major powers (Russia, China and the United States), the role of organisations such as PKK, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the different religious belongings.

Dr Marco Marsili
Centro de Investigação do Instituto de Estudos Políticos da Universidade Católica Portuguesa (CIEP-UCP)

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Islamic State: A Clash within the Muslim Civilization for the New Caliphate, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, November 2015, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/1057610x.2015.1100010.
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