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New Book - Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins

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Paul Rogers
24 June 2016

If the rise of Islamic State can overthrow powerful states in a matter of weeks, what kind of a secure future can the world expect? After more than a decade of the war on terror, security specialists thought that Islamist paramilitary movements were in decline; the threat from ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Qaida in Yemen, the chaos in Libya and the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan have all shown that to be wishful thinking. Once again the West is at war in the Middle East. Paul Rogers, the distinguished global security specialist, provides a much-needed look at the rise of such global terrorist movements from the margins and presents a new argument as troubling as it is compelling. While Islamic State has taken root in the Middle East and North Africa and has increasing impact across the world as thousands of young men and women rally to its cause, Rogers argues that it should be seen not just as a threat in its own right but as a marker of a much more dangerous world riddled with irregular war.

Released: July 14th 2016, I.B. Tauris.


Outstanding… Irregular War presents the need to establish a completely different approach to our world economic system, to the challenge of climate change and to conventional ideas of military control. The book is an essential contribution to thinking about the best way to confront the challenges of an unstable world.

Charles Clarke (Former Home Secretary, 2004-06)

Paul Rogers does it again…. the picture he paints in this important book of a world of permanent insurgencies because of inequality – ‘revolt from the margins’ – asks fundamental questions of modern armies. Are they equipped for the challenges we face?  Rogers condemns our current solution of higher fences and more arms, calling for more radical measures. 

David Loyn (Foreign Affairs Analyst and author of Butcher and Bold: Two Hundred Years of Foreign Engagement in Afghanistan)

These stories have been told before - of inequality, environmental stress and the inability of the militarily powerful to mould the world in their own image. But they have never been told in the context of the ISIS challenge or with the historical and cultural perspective that Paul Rogers brings to bear. It is not just ISIS - they are only the latest manifestation.  This book is not some important contribution to the international debate:  rather, it is a masterly summary of a debate that we are emphatically not having, but which we certainly should.

Michael Clarke (Former Director General, Royal United Services Institute)

Paul Rogers identifies ISIS as symptomatic of a much broader set of developments that Western leaders have not understood. This book provides a clear and authoritative account of what is really going on and how the conventional wisdom on security needs an urgent rethink. It is compelling reading.

Rosemary Hollis, (Professor of International Politics, City University of London)

The catastrophe of the so-called “war on terror” exposed in brilliant detail by the towering intellect of Prof Paul. Rogers

 Owen Jones, (Guardian Correspondent)

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