Prof Paul Rogers on "Irregular War: ISIS, Elites and Revolts from the Margins"
18 October 2015
On 15 October, Prof Paul Rogers shared his perspectives on "Irregular War: ISIS, Elites and Revolts from the Margins" in a Seminar organised by the Global Insecurities Centre of the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, at the University of Bristol.
For him, ISIS, al Qaida, Boko Haram, Al Shabab and the Taliban are all separate manifestations of a new non-state dynamic which is now driving international conflict through asymmetric and hybrid warfare, but their real significance is much more fundamental. The problem for the future is not a clash of civilisations but revolts from the margins with ISIS, in particular, a proto-movement for wars in an increasingly divided and constrained world.
The underlying drivers of future conflict are far more than the growth of extreme Islamist movements. They stem from a deeply flawed world economic system that is producing greater inequalities and marginalisation combined with the onset of persistent global environmental limits, especially climate disruption.
The failed war on terror shows that these drivers cannot be controlled by military force and we cannot close the castle gates. What is required is a fundamentally new approach to security if we are to avoid a highly unstable and violent world - an age of insurgencies which might even involve weapons of mass destruction. We need radically to change our understanding of security, a change that is possible but requires vision and commitment.