Starr Forum: Global Jihad: A Brief History

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

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Global Jihad tells the story of four distinct jihadi waves, each with its own program for achieving a global end: whether a Jihadi International to liberate Muslim lands from foreign occupation; al-Qa’ida’s call to drive the United States out of the Muslim world; ISIS using “jihadi cool” to recruit followers; or leaderless efforts of stochastic terror to “keep the dream alive.” Robinson connects the rise of global jihad to other “movements of rage” such as the Nazi Brownshirts, White supremacists, Khmer Rouge, and Boko Haram. Ultimately, he shows that while global jihad has posed a low strategic threat, it has instigated an outsized reaction from the United States and other Western nations. 



Glenn E Robinson is professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and is affiliated with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Global Jihad: A Brief History (Stanford University Press).

Global Jihad: A Brief History is available to purchase with a 20% discount with code "Robinson20" at



Richard Nielsen is associate professor of political science at MIT. His book, Deadly Clerics (Cambridge University Press), uses statistical text analysis and fieldwork in Cairo mosques to understand the radicalization of jihadi clerics in the Arab world. He writes on international law, the political economy of human rights, political violence, and political methodology. 

Co-sponsors:  MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

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