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Conceptualizing an internal conflict: ISIS and international law

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This article investigates the challenge for international society in understanding ISIS’s continuing presence in Iraq and which aspects of international law may be applied so as to allow ISIS to be better held responsible for its actions. Particular emphasis is placed on the nature of an internal conflict and the rules of international law that apply to such conflicts. There is also a wider analysis of the difficulty in contextualizing ISIS within the prevailing Westphalian framework of an international society predicated on independent sovereign states. As such, the article explores aspects of international relations and the history of the Middle East, as well as international law.
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Keywords: ISIS; international law; law of war; non-state actors; recognition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: British University in Egypt

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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