Resolving Jihadist Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace

On 27 March 2014, the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to mark the end of four decades of armed conflict. The MILF fought to establish an independent Islamic state in Mindanao of the southern Philippines. Image from EveningStandard.

Project description

One of the most pressing challenges on the contemporary agenda for peace and security is armed conflicts involving militant groups with self-proclaimed Islamist aspirations, such as IS (Islamic State) in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, we know surprisingly little about the conditions under which jihadist conflicts, partly or completely, may be resolved through peaceful means. In particular, there is a gap in peace and conflict research concerning if, how, and to what extent, our existing theories on conflict resolution are applicable to solve jihadist conflicts. The research project “Resolving Jihadist Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace” sets out to fill this lacuna. The purpose is to explore the potential, as well as the limitations, for conflict resolution in these contexts by examining the research question: under what conditions are jihadist conflicts likely to be resolved?

Definitions & Data

More information will be added shortly.


  • 2017-06-10: Congratulations to Core Group member Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, who has received the Distinguished Scholar Award, Religion and International Relations Section, International Studies Association. Read more.
  • 2017-05-15: Project leader Isak Svensson and project co-worker Daniel Finnbogason's article "The missing jihad. Why have there been no jihadist civil wars in Southeast Asia?" has been published in The Pacific Review. Read more.


  • 24-26 April 2017: "Resolving Jihadist Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace" participated in "Risks, roots and responses: Nordic conference on research on violent extremism" in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the conference, the Swedish Core Group of the project arranged a panel titled "Ending Jihadi Conflicts". Read more.
  • 5-8 September 2016, Working Group Conference, Uppsala, Sweden: The Working Group on the Resolution of Jihadist Conflicts holds it first conference, on the theme “Defining and Analyzing Jihadist Conflicts”.

Related publications


As the Islamic State (IS) is being increasingly pushed back in the Middle East, Prof. Svensson argues for the need for a discussion on how to build sustainable peace in the region. Efter IS, Mänsklig Säkerhet, 7 June 2017. (In Swedish.)  

Photo: MidoSemsem/Shutterstock

Prof. Svensson on the decline of political Islamism and what the international community needs to do to overcome militant Islamism. Tvådelad strategi behövs mot militant islamism, Utrikesmagasinet, 27 May 2017. (In Swedish.)

Project leader Prof. Isak Svensson on Swedish radio talking about the deadly attack in central Stockholm on 7 April 2017. Lyckas terroristerna splittra oss? Sveriges Radio P1, 13 April 2017. (In Swedish.)

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