Some Questions

What is the Caliphate and what is its history?

How has ISIS invoked the idea of the Caliphate and how would you begin to frame this within a historical context?

Possible Starting Places

  "The Caliph," Al Jazeera, 2016:  A major three-part Al Jazeera documentary series that traces the history of the Caliphate through the centuries.

Part 1, Foundation:

Part 2, Division:

Part 3, Decline:

  Edward Stourton, "What's The Appeal Of The Caliphate?," BBC Newsmagazine, October 26, 2014.

  Max Fisher, "9 Questions About The ISIS Caliphate You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask," Vox, August 7, 2014.

The Caliphate In The News

  Shadi Hamid, "What A Caliphate Really Is -- And How The Islamic State Is Not One," Washington Post, October 28, 2016.

Azim Nanji and John McNee, "A Claimed Caliphate, In Name Only," Globe and Mail, December 30, 2015.

  John Casey, "Isis Are Barbarians -- But The Caliphate Is An Ancient Muslim Ideal," Independent, July 4, 2015.

  "Is Islamic State Caliphate Here To Stay?," BBC News, June 29, 2015.

  Milo Comerford, "From An Islamic 'Caliphate' To War With The West, Just What Is Isis' Ideology?," Independent, June 29, 2015.

  Ian Black, "What Is A Caliphate?," Guardian, June 30, 2014.

"ISIS In Iraq: What Is A Caliphate?," CBC News, June 30, 2014.


  Jason Burke, "The Truth About The Caliphate," Prospect (September 2015).

John M. Owen IV, "From Calvin To The Caliphate: What Europe's Wars Of Religion Tell Us About The Modern Middle East," Foreign Affairs (May/June 2015).


Nick Danforth, "The Myth Of The Caliphate: The Political History Of An Idea," Foreign Affairs (November 19, 2014).

Graeme Wood, "What ISIS's Leader Really Wants," New Republic (September 1, 2014).

  James Dawson, "What Is A Caliph -- And Why Has The Leader Of Isis Declared Himself To Be One?," New Statesman (July 3, 2014).

Audio And Video Sources

  Sameer Sahim, "Listen: Hugh Kennedy -- What Is The Caliphate?," Prospect, July 29, 2016.

"Caliphate: An Idea Throughout History With Hugh Kennedy," Ottoman History Podcast, April 16, 2016.

  "Dreaming Of The Caliphate," Encounter, ABC, January 10, 2015.

"Caliphate -- Searching For The Islamic State," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, August 18, 2014.

"Sunni Rebels Declare New 'Islamic Caliphate,'" Al Jazeera, June 30, 2014.

"What Is A 'Caliphate?': Iraq Conflict," BBC News, June 30, 2014.




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