Revolution and world order: the case of the Islamic State (ISIS)

  • Tuong VuEmail author
  • Patrick Van Orden


Scholars have studied revolutions mostly as domestic events while neglecting their transnational character. From the French to the Chinese Revolution, revolutionary ideologies and networks have never been confined to national boundaries. As transnational events, revolutions can create ruptures in global politics and challenge world order. Some young revolutionary states have perished. Others such as Iran have endured, but tensions persist. Given the importance of the topic, the literature is surprisingly limited. We propose a theoretical framework that explains the evolution of the relationship between anti-Western revolutionary states and the global order and apply it to the case of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Our framework explains why some revolutionary states are accommodated or tolerated, whereas others are opposed, isolated, and destroyed. Using the Islamic State to illustrate our framework, we explain the main reason for the demise of the Islamic State (ISIS): its own radicalism.


Communism Islamism Islamic State Revolution World order 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Oregon Department of Human ServicesSalemUSA

Personalised recommendations