Hansen: Unity Under Allah? Cohesion Mechanisms in Jihadist Organizations in Africa

Abstract: This article explores mechanisms fostering cohesion in jihadist organizations in relation to territorial presence. This article takes four types of territorial presence as its point of departure: (1) a clandestine network-based presence; (2) an accepted presence where the organization is tolerated by a state; (3) a semiterritorial presence, where the organization is allowed some control between phases of enemy offensives and withdrawals; and (4) a relatively permanent territorial presence, where the organization fully controls the territory in which it has bases. The article argues that each of these types of territorial presence opens up for different ways for organizations to create cohesion. Cohesion mechanisms thus vary according to type of territorial presence.

Keywords: Africa, cohesion/disintegration, military organization, strategy

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Published 9. January 2018 - 14:04 - Updated 29. January 2018 - 9:44