Informalisation and Brutalisation: Jihadism as a Part-Process of Global Integration and Disintegration

  • Michael Dunning


In this chapter I examine the relationships between Salafi-jihadism (in particular that associated with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) and connections between the processes of brutalisation, integration and disintegration, and informalisation. By drawing on the work of Elias, Wouters and the figurational tradition, I seek to show how, as part of long-term social processes that have extended across the globe, there has been an equalisation of power chances between most groups (albeit with an array of ‘criss-crossing’ counter-trends and fluctuations), and how this has contributed to a loss of functions, status and meaning for some of these groups, which has driven integration conflicts. This, in turn, has been central to brutalisation processes, which feed Salafi-jihadist ideology and organisations like ISIS. As a consequence of global civilising processes, which are offshoots of European civilising processes (see Linklater 2016: 442), increasing numbers of people have become more interdependent. As previously disparate social groups became more closely interrelated, their integration functioned as a condition for the spread of informalised behavioural standards across the world, which is related to a range of emancipatory movements of women, children, the formerly colonised and less rigid attitudes towards such groups. As these processes continue and some groups lose functions and status (e.g. vanquished military groups across the world), integration conflicts break out, along with associated decivilising spurts and brutalisation processes.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Dunning
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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