Volume 21, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Between 2014 and 2017, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) morphed from a terrorist organization into a proto-state that held a large swathe of territory, within which its strict interpretation of sharia law was enforced. We argue that ISIS discursively constructed itself politically by appealing to elements of both a traditional Islamic caliphate and a modern legitimate state. Linguistic and semiotic data is presented from political communications through social media that revolve around three key themes, specifically the construction of a state founded on and engaged in righteous , which all rely fundamentally on a conception of the modern state as holding a “monopoly on the legitimate use of force”, in Weber’s definition. We analyze this data from a critical discourse analysis (CDA) perspective, within a theoretical framework that draws on the political sociology of the state and political communications in asymmetric conflicts.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): asymmetric conflict; CDA; ISIS; Islamic State; Max Weber; political sociology; state theory
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