Wednesday 12 February 18:30 - 20:30

The River Room, King's Building - King's College London

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Violence and Militants: From Ottoman Rebellions to Jihadist Organizations


This book launch will introduce a comprehensive analysis of the use of violence by militant groups across time and space.

The author will respond to a number of vexed questions: How do militants rationalize violence and what are their motives? How do time and space shape their destiny? Violence and Militants explores these enduring questions by comparing violent episodes in towns and villages in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Balkans with today's zones of conflict from Afghanistan to the Middle East.

Placing history alongside the troubles of the present, this talk will illustrate parallels between Christian militants who rebelled against the Ottoman Empire and four jihadist organizations of today: Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and Isis. Drawing on scholarship by political theorists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and philosophers, the author traces the root of dissent to a perceived deprivation that leads to aggressive protest and action. The author argues that the rationalization of violence functions independently of time and geographical location. The author's talk will uncover how militant groups use revenge, ideals, and confrontation to generate fear and terror in the name of justice.

Breaking new ground, Violence and Militants is the first book to address this complex relationship across different periods of history.

Dr Baris Cayli Messina bio:

Dr Baris Cayli Messina is the author of Violence and Militants (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019). He is currently Visiting Professor at LUMSA University in Italy and he is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Derby, Fellow at RUSI and Senior Researcher in TSAS (Canadian Network for research on terrorism, security, and society). He has served as a Visiting Academic at the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, and the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He was Visiting Professor at the Univeristy of Palermo in 2018-2019.

Dr Cayli's research has a strong interdisciplinary & transdisciplinary background and revolves around diverse subjects in social sciences and humanities. His main research interests primarily lie in sociology, philosophy, anthropology, politics and history.His publications particularly explore violence, political ideologies, power dynamics, radicalisation, human behavior, social, political, and cultural transformation.

Dr Cayli is currenly working on his second book project on the resistance of Sicilian people against the Mafia and editing a special issue on "Bandits, Brigands, and Militants: the Historical Sociology of Outlaws" for the Journal of Historical Sociology.

His personal website:


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