Ba'athism: the hidden hand behind ISIS? An examination of the Ba'ath ideology, Saddam-regime and ISIS
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This thesis examines to what extent the Ba’athist ideology and Ba’athist Saddam-regime can be considered forerunners of the ISIS-doctrine. It aims to map out the potential influence or overlap concerning pan-Arabism and the relation between the Ba’ath and Islam by using both literature and the analysis of primary sources. The latter comprises of speeches, essays, transcripts, and concerning ISIS specifically, Dabiq magazine. The first chapter explores the core ideas of the Ba’ath ideology, formulated by Michel Aflaq, and the Ba’athist party network. The second chapter discusses the network, political ideas and repertoires of the Saddam regime. The third chapter examines the Ba’athist network in ISIS, next to the political ideas and repertoires of the organisation. The third chapter also pays attention to the governance structures of ISIS as the self-proclaimed caliphate seems to be a distinctive case in Iraq’s recent state governance. At the end of the second and third chapter, the findings are compared to the ones in the previous chapter(s). This explorative research indicates that there is organisational overlap, or even influence, between the Saddam-regime and ISIS. From an ideological perspective, however, there seems to be no Ba’athist influence on ISIS throughout the intermediate Saddam-regime.