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Green Crescent, Crimson Cross: the transatlantic 'Counterjihad' and the new political theology

Pertwee, Ed (2017) Green Crescent, Crimson Cross: the transatlantic 'Counterjihad' and the new political theology. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.xx0e1p4w3f3y


This thesis explores the EuroAmerican ‘counterjihad’, a transnational field of antiMuslim political action that has grown significantly since it first became visible in the mid-late 2000s. Its key symptoms have included ‘Defence Leagues’ and ‘Stop Islamisation’ groups in various national contexts, grassroots mobilisations against mosques and minarets, campaigns to ‘ban the burqa’, as well as a very wide network of antiMuslim online spaces. The thesis argues that the counterjihad can be seen as a transnational political movement, and its discursive, aesthetic, organisational and tactical repertoires are all critically explored. It will be shown that the heterogeneous political tendencies that constitute the counterjihad are united by a shared narrative of Western crisis, decline and impending catastrophe; several overlapping conspiratorial narratives that attempt to explain this predicament; and, finally, a spectrum of compensatory political projects that seek to reinvigorate a sense of Western civilizational and white ethnic identity in a post-Cold War context where those identities are increasingly contested. The thesis also argues that the counterjihad is one aspect of a more general phenomenon: the striking reemergence in ‘late’ modernity of a number of ‘countermodern’ or ‘traditionalist’ political theologies. These new political theologies overlap with, but are not identical to, the ones that flourished during the long crisis of ‘classical’ European modernity in the early twentieth century (notably, ‘classical’ Italian Fascism and German National Socialism). Finally, the thesis considers the sociopolitical conditions that have fostered the reemergence of such phenomena today.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Ed Pertwee
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Bhatt, Chetan

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