The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan appears to have revitalized militant Islamist groups at a time when the jihadi movement was on the decline and the United States hoped to close the 9/11 era. As such, it is the latest in a decades long series of rebounds and unexpected turns in the evolution of militant Islamism. Why is jihadism so difficult to predict, and what, if anything, can social scientists hold on to as reliable indicators and frameworks for estimating its future? In this talk, Thomas Hegghammer will review the forty-year history of scholarly prediction attempts, reflect on his own misjudgments, and draw up tentative - and likely wrong - scenarios for the coming years.
This event will be moderated by MEI Faculty Director Tarek Masoud.