From Al Qaeda to IS: Has International Terrorism Become State?

By Arianna Vedaschi

This paper seeks to analyse the nature of the so-called Islamic State, a nature which is widely disputed. Is the Caliphate of al-Baghdadi merely the latest manifestation of jihadism, and thus to be regarded as a terrorist organisation — one which is even more sophisticated than any previous incarnation — or is it an actual State? To answer this critical question, my analysis tests, first of all, whether the new geopolitical entity (referred to as IS, in its latest form) meets the three elements (territory, people and sovereignty). Then, shifting from a theoretical to a more practical approach, the study focuses on the administrative capacity of the IS. Finally, the conclusion draws a picture of a new model of power.