How does the phenomenon of modern Jihad echo the crises of Western liberalism? In her new book The Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism (Verso), BISR core faculty and deputy director Suzanne Schneider argues that contemporary Jihad, far from being a medieval holdover, in fact bears a striking resemblance to the reactionary political formations and acts of spectacular violence that are upending life in Western democracies. From authoritarian populism to mass shootings, xenophobic nationalism, and the allure of conspiratorial thinking, modern Jihad seems to be less the antithesis of western neoliberalism, and more a dark reflection of its inner logic.
On Thursday, September 9th—to celebrate the launch of her new book—Schneider welcomed fellow faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Patrick Blanchfield, and The Intercept journalist Murtaza Hussain for a wide-ranging discussion of the relationship between modern Jihad and neoliberal crisis and the conditions that have brought both to the fore. What is the nature of modern Jihad, and how can it be understood in the context of contemporary geopolitical, economic, and ideological trends? Why, for Schneider, do Jihad and neoliberalism represent two variants of a politics of failure: the inability to imagine a better life here on earth? The event gets underway at the 14:00 minute mark.