Islamism constitutes a new variant of the communitarian challenge to a liberal international order. But is it a viable political project in a world where human rights and international humanitarian principles have become so pervasive? What are the consequences of the global diffusion of the norms of international society for Islamist groups that (pro)claim a self-referential Muslim identity; attempt to shield their communities from allegedly alien moral conceptions; and assert the exclusive validity of supposedly immutable Islamic principles?
In this book Filippo Dionigi claims that the influence of international norms on Islamist politics goes beyond an instrumental norm-conformist behavior by Islamist actors. International norms instill in the discourse and agency of Islamism conceptions of person and community which facilitate a sense of membership to international society, instead of being its outcasts. By using the case of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the author illustrates how this Islamist movement has become more cognizant of the cogency of the norms of international society. The result is a precarious but innovative equilibrium in which a political actor redefines its Islamist identity by rethinking the idea of an allegedly “authentic” Islamic morality and the legitimacy of international norms. Continue reading