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Policy Brief

The Failure of Prophecy and the Future of IS

22 Sep 2017
Policy Brief by Lorne L. Dawson

As many commentators have argued, much of the extraordinary success of IS in recruiting foreign fighters stemmed from their more explicitly apocalyptic vision of the struggle against the enemies of Islam. Swift military success was followed by the restoration of the Caliphate and pronouncements of the imminent and final global triumph of Islam. The military defeat of IS is surely a refutation of that prophecy and will seriously demoralise its supporters. Decades of social scientific studies of similar failures of prophecy says otherwise. This Policy Brief summarises the key findings of such research and their implications for estimating the resilience of IS.

How to cite: Dawson, Lorne L. "The Failure of Prophecy and the Future of IS.” The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague 8, no. 3 (2017).