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Jihad and Death - Professor Olivier Roy

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Lecture Theatre G.03

50 George Square

Edinburgh

EH8 9JU

United Kingdom

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The University of Edinburgh is delighted to be welcoming one of the world's most distinguished analysts of political Islam, Professor Olivier Roy, to discuss his new book "Jihad and Death: The Global Appeal of Islamic State".

Islamic State has replaced Al Qaeda as the great global threat of the twenty-first century, the bogeyman we have all come to fear. But Daesh started as a local movement, rooted in the resentment of the Sunni Arabs of Iraq and Syria. It is they who have lost most in the geo-strategic shift in the balance of power in the region over the last thirty years, as Iranian-backed Shias have mobilised politically and advanced on the social and economic fronts.

How has Islamic State been able to muster support far beyond its initial constituency in the Arab world and to attract tens of thousands of foreign volunteers, including converts to Islam, and seemingly countless supporters online? In this compelling intervention into the debate about Islamic State's origins and future prospects, the renowned French sociologist of religion, Olivier Roy, argues that the group mobilised a highly sophisticated narrative, reviving the myth of the Caliphate and recasting it into a modern story of heroism, death and nihilism, using a very contemporary aesthetic of violence, well entrenched amid a youth culture that has turned global and violent.

Click HERE for more information about the book.

Olivier Roy is Professor at the European University Institute (Florence). He is the scientific adviser of the Middle East Directions programme at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and heads the ReligioWest research project (funded by the European Research Council). He has been a Senior Researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (since 1985), professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (since 2003), and visiting professor at Berkeley University (2008/2009).

He headed the OSCE’s Mission for Tajikistan (1993-94) and was a Consultant for the UN Office of the Coordinator for Afghanistan (1988). He also worked as a part-time consultant for the Policy Planning Staff of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1984-2009).

His field works include Afghanistan, Political Islam, Middle East, Islam in the West and comparative religions. Mr. Roy received an “Agrégation de Philosophie” and a Ph.D. in Political Sciences.

He is the author of, among other books, “The failure of political Islam” (Harvard UP 1994), “Globalized Islam” (Columbia University Press, 2004) and “Holy Ignorance” Hurst/ Oxford UP, 2010.

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Lecture Theatre G.03

50 George Square

Edinburgh

EH8 9JU

United Kingdom

View Map

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