The Charismatic Leadership Phenomenon in Radical and Militant Islamism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Charismatic Leadership Phenomenon in Radical and Militant Islamism

1st Edition

By Haroro J. Ingram


262 pages

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Hardback: 9781409449843
pub: 2013-12-11
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Haroro J. Ingram journeys through over a century of history, from the Islamist modernists of the late-1800s into the 21st century, in the first full length examination of the charismatic leadership phenomenon in Islamist radicalism and militancy. Exhaustively researched and founded upon a suite of innovative multidisciplinary paradigms, this book features case studies of Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. At a micro-level, Ingram argues that charismatic leaders act as vehicles for the evolution of modern Islamist radicalism and militancy. At a macro-level, he argues that the transformative charisma phenomenon in Islamist radicalism and militancy produces complex chains of charismatic leaders as individual figures rise by leveraging, to varying degrees, the charismatic capital of preceding charismatic leaders. Within these case studies, Ingram offers new approaches to understanding the nuances of these complex phenomena; from his ideal-types of charismatic leadership in Islamist militancy (spiritual guides, charismatic leaders and neo-charismatic leaders) to his framing of al-Qaeda as a ’charismatic adhocracy’. The result is an authoritative analysis of a phenomenon largely ignored by scholars of both charismatic leadership and Islamism. Ultimately, this ground-breaking investigation offers important insights into the complex nuances that drive the rise and evolution of not only Islamist militancy but radical and militant groups more broadly.


’This work definitively establishes the linkage between leadership and radical Islamism. In demonstrating how figures such as Sayyid Qutb and Osama Bin Laden both build on and themselves produce charismatic capital�, it speaks to urgent public concerns while also helping us to understand how to study evolving militant movements.’ James Piscatori, Durham University, UK ’The charismatic leaders of the radical Islamist movement - from Sayyid Qutb to Osama bin Laden - are analyzed in this intriguing study. It shows how they build on chains of charismatic leadership in order to craft their own authoritative images. This is a study that tells us much about the human side of radical Islamist ideology, and about the role of leadership in social movements in general.’ Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California, USA 'This book approaches mass movement, radical and militant Islamism in light of social theory. It merges theories of charismatic leadership, identity and radicalisation to underline the transformative charisma phenomenon in Islamist movements. … I particularly recommend the book for graduate students and scholars of religious studies. Those with a background in social sciences will appreciate it the most. It could also benefit advanced readers with an interest in Islam and politics.' Theological Book Review

About the Author

Haroro J. Ingram has worked on national security issues in various capacities and is currently with the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies (Department of Political & Social Change, Australian National University, Canberra).

About the Series

Religion and International Security

Religion and International Security
In the twenty-first century religion has become an increasingly important factor in international relations and international security. Religion is seen by policy makers and academics as being a major contributor in conflict and its successful resolution. The role of the Ashgate series in Religion and International Security is to provide such policy makers, practitioners, researchers and students with a first port of call in seeking to find the latest and most comprehensive research on religion and security. The series provides established and emerging authors with an opportunity to publish in a series with a reputation for high quality and cutting edge research in this field. The series produces analytical and scholarly works from around the world that demonstrate the relevance of religion in security and international relations. The intention is not to be prescriptive or reductionist in restricting the types of books that would be appropriate for the series and as such encourages a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches. International security is broadly defined to incorporate inter and intra-state conflict, human security, terrorism, genocide, religious freedom, human rights, environmental security, the arms trade, securitisation, gender security, peace keeping, conflict resolution and humanitarian intervention. The distinguishing feature is the religious element in any security or conflict issue.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State