In a new paper published by Momentum Quarterly, I look at the modalities of organizing in the global jihadist movement. One reason for the resilience of the movement is the combination of different modes of organizing, such as hierarchical organizations and networks. I argue that some of the difficulties in effectively countering global jihadism result from a misconception of the movement as being either a hierarchy or a network. The “rhizome” metaphor of French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari can help us to better grasp the organizational complexity of the phenomenon, and might help us to think about new ways to deal with global jihadism. The abstract reads as follows:
This article illustrates the “rhizome” metaphor of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari with the example of global jihadism. The aim of the article is twofold: first, it shows the potential of the metaphor to contribute to a better understanding of dynamic modalities of organizing. Second, it contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of global jihadism as an empirical phenomenon. By implementing the rhizome metaphor, it becomes apparent that the organization of global jihadism extends beyond an either/or duality of hierarchy and network, but that it is an organizational multiplicity which comprises both hierarchical and network dimensions at the same time. The extent of those dimensions is constantly changing.
The full open access article (in German) can be found here.