While maintaining a crucial position within the jihadi discourse, since 9/11 the debate on the creation of a “truly” Islamic State has been partially obscured by the struggle against the far enemy, an objective which was given primary importance by al-Qa‘ida. Especially from 2011 onward, the situation gradually changed and the theme came back to the fore. In a context marked by the stiffening of the authoritarian regimes spared by the Arab Spring, the crisis of the liberal models invoked against them, and the collapse of the Islamist alternatives dominating in the immediate “post-Spring order”, the jihadist galaxy passed through a significant ideological and methodological shift embodied by the proclamation of the “Islamic State” (IS) in 2014. The essay aims to analyze this phenomenon focusing on the different approaches adopted by IS and al-Qa‘ida as well as on the implications this shift may have on the broader jihadi galaxy.
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