Jihadis are often perceived as little more than single-minded fighters and religious fanatics. Here is a book that challenges this view by supplying a remarkable inventory of jihadi cultural practices, ranging from poetry, song, and film all the way down to the interpretation of dreams. By turning our attention to the non-military realm and by stressing the cultural and aesthetic dimension of jihadi ideology and practice, this fascinating book raises new questions and opens up new avenues of research.

Stathis Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Notwithstanding much valuable work on clandestine political organizations, our understanding of them is limited by a tendency to reifying their violent characteristics, forgetting about the other activities these groups perform. This fascinating volume contributes to filling a gap in our knowledge by a systematic analysis of the cultural dimension of the Jihadi movements. A must read contributions for those who wants to understand violence.

Donatella della Porta, Professor and Dean of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Director of Centre of Social Movements Studies, Scuola normale superiore

There has been lots of recent scholarship on the arts of protest, partly because it humanizes the protestors when we see them doing things like writing poetry and playing music. No one has been more demonized in the US and Europe than jihadists, so they have not received this kind of treatment. Until now. A provocative and important book for all of us.

James M. Jasper, author of The Art of Moral Protest, City University of New York

A learned tour de force by top scholars in the field, this book reminds us that warrior culture is not the superfluous byproduct of violence but rather the matrix that sustains and nourishes it. For experts and lay readers alike, Jihadi Culture will be a revelation.

Will McCants, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution


Perspectives on Politics (by Gilbert Ramsay), December 2019

Bustan: The Middle East Book Review (by Pieter Van Ostaeyen), 23 July 2019

Nationalt Center for Forebyggelse av Extremisme (by Sune Qvortrup Jensen), 14 November 2018

Politique Etrangère (by Laurence Bindner), 14 August 2018

Revue française de science politique (by Corentin Cohen), June 2018

Portal für Politikwissenschaft (by Michael Rohschürmann), 14 May 2018

Israel Book Review (by Stephen Darori), 23 April 2018

Sehepunkte (by Tilmann Kulke), 15 April 2018

Critical Studies on Terrorism (by Lizzy Ambler), 22 March 2018

LSE Middle East Centre Blog (by Madawi al-Rasheed), 24 January 2018

Human Givens, 8 January 2018

Perlentaucher (by Arno Widmann), 18 December 2017

RUSI Journal (by Andrew Glazzard), 21 November 2017

Babylon (by Erik Sandvik), December 2017 (by Huzaifa Umair Siddiqi), 23 December 2017

The Atlantic (by Simon Cottee), 30 November 2017 (by Hasan Khadr), 12 November 2017

The Times Literary Supplement (by Rebecca Wolfe), 8 November 2017

The Spectator (by Douglas Murray), 28 October 2017

Perspectives on Terrorism (by Joshua Sinai), October 2017

Action Résilience (by Nicolas Hénin), 27 September 2017

Dagbladet (by Jan-Erik Smilden), 21 September 2017

La Repubblica (by Francesca Caferri), 15 September 2017

Journal of Peace Research (by Stathis Kalyvas), 11 September 2017

Nettavisen (by Erik Stephansen), 7 September 2017

L’Espresso (by Giuliano Battiston), 6 September 2017

Folha de S. Paolo (by Diogo Bercito), 25 August 2017

Weekendavisen (by Soren K. Villemoes), 11 August 2017

Al-Fanar Media (by Ursula Lindsey), 17 July 2017

Il Tascabile (by Giuliano Battiston), 11 July 2017

Online Propagandaforschung, 4 July 2017

Interviews and other media coverage

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, 11 January 2018

Deciphering Jihadi Culture (video), 9/11 Memorial and Museum, 30 November 2017

“Jihadi Culture: An Interview with Thomas Hegghammer”, Sustainable Security, 27 October 2017

“الحياة الأخرى للإرهابيين.. “الجهادي جون” يصنع البقلاوة والزرقاوي يبكي”, Al-Watan, 1 October 2017

“Kulturen som banar vägen för väpnad jihad”, Respons, 5 September 2017

“– Jihadister gråter mye”, Dagsavisen, 26 August 2017

BBC World Service (audio), 1 August 2017

“Terrorekspert: »Jihadister græder – meget«” , Politiken, 29 July 2017

“Aesthetics, Culture Key to Understanding Jihadists” (audio), NPR All Things Considered, 28 July 2017

“The Art of Making a Jihadist”“The Art of Making a Jihadist”, The Observer, 23 July 2017

“Was machen Dschihadisten nach Feierabend?” (audio), Deutschlandfunk, 11 July 2017

“Halshugger om formiddagen, gråter av dikt om kvelden”, Aftenposten, 8 July 2017

Bok ger ny bild av sektmiljön (audio), Sveriges Radio, 9 July 2017

NRK Radio (audio), 6 July 2017

“Sentimentalisten”Süddeutsche Zeitung, 17 March 2017

“The Ties That Bind Jihadists,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 30, 2015

“What jihadist fighters do in their spare time”, Business Insider, 22 October 2015

“Studying Jihadi Culture”, Middle East Week Podcast, May 5, 2015