The age of hyperconflict and the globalization-terrorism nexus : a comparative study of Al Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria

Botma, Vasti (2015-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Globalization has radically changed the world we live in; it has enabled the easy movement of people, goods and money across borders, and has facilitated improved communication. In a sense it has made our lives easier, however the same facets that have improved the lives of citizens across the globe now threatens them. Terrorist organizations now make use of these same facets of globalization in order to facilitate terrorist activity. This thesis set out to examine the extent to which globalization has contributed to the creation of a permissive environment in which terrorism has flourished in Somalia and northern Nigeria respectively, and how it has done so. In order to determine this Mittelman’s theory of hyperconflict and Zimmermann’s heuristic causal model of linkages between globalization and international terrorism were applied to the case studies of Al Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria. The main finding of this thesis is that globalization has contributed to the creation of a permissive environment in which terrorism has flourished in Somalia and northern Nigeria, albeit to different extents. In Somalia, globalization has facilitated the terrorist activities of Al Shabaab by means of technology (especially information communications technology (ICT)), migration channels, and channels of business and commerce. Additionally, the threat of corrupt culture, as spread by globalization, has served as an incentive when selecting targets. Moreover, it was found that globalization played a part in radicalizing Al Shabaab as well as ordinary Somalis. Similarly, globalization has facilitated terrorism perpetrated by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria; it has done so by means of technology, migration channels to a lesser extent, and politico-criminal network as well as support by external states and groups. The threat of a corrupt foreign culture has played a particular role in driving Boko Haram’s campaign of terror. Additionally, it was found that globalization played some part, albeit a small part, in Boko Haram’s rise to prominence. This thesis proved that in certain states and under specific conditions globalization has led to the creation of a permissive environment in which national/international terrorism can flourish.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Globalisering het die wêreld drasties verander. Dit het teweeg gebring dat mense, goedere en geld vrylik oor internasionale en nasionale grense kan beweeg. Alhoewel die proses van globalisering die lewens van ‘n groot gedeelte van die wêreldbevolking vergemaklik het, hou dit egter gevare in. Hedendaags maak terreurgroepe gebruik van die verskillende fasette van globalisering as ‘n middel om terreuraanvalle uit te voer. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om te bepaal tot watter mate globalisering ‘n milieu geskep het, afsonderlik in Somalië en Nigerië waarin terrorisme kan floreer en hoe dit so ‘n milieu bewerkstellig het. Ten einde hierdie doel te bereik het hierdie navorsingsstudie Mittelman se teorië van “hyperconflict” en Zimmermann se “heuristic causal model of linkages between globalization and international terrorism” aangewend tot die volgende gevallestudies, naamlik: Al Sjabaab in Somalië en Boko Haram in Nigerië. In hieridie tesis is daar tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat daar ‘n verbintenis is tussen globalisering en terrorisme, met ander woorde, globalisering is verantwoordelik vir die skepping van ‘n milieu waarin terrorisme kan floreer. In die geval van Al Sjabaab in Somalië is daar bevind dat tegnologie (veral inligting en kommunikasietegnologie (IKT)), internasionale netwerke van besigheid en handel, asook migrasie kanale die terreuraktiwiteite van Al Sjabaab ondersteun en fasiliteer het. Verder is daar bevind dat “korrupte” buitelandse kulture gesien word as ‘n bedreiging en hierdie siening het die seleksie van teikens beïnvloed. Boonop is daar bevind dat globalisering ‘n groot rol gespeel het in die radikalisering van Al Sjabaab asook Somaliese landsburgers. Net so, het globalisering die terreuraktiwiteite van Boko Haram gefasiliteer. Boko Haram het gebruik gemaak van tegnologie, migrasie kanale (tot ‘n mindere mate), “politico-criminal” netwerke asook die ondersteuning van eksterne state en groepe. Die verspreiding/deurdringing van “korrupte” buitelandse kultuur het veral ‘n rol gespeel in Boko Haram se terreur-veldtog. Verder is daar bevind dat globalisering ‘n matige rol gespeel het in Boko Haram se opkoms. Hierdie studie het dus bewys dat in sekere lande en onder sekere omstandighede globalisering ‘n milieu kan bewerkstellig waarin nasionale/internasionale terrorisme kan floreer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98141
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