Before Jihadists There Were Anarchists: A Failed Case of Transnational Violence

By Ersel Aydinli

With the wave of violent jihadist activities in recent years, the world’s attention hasshifted away from a traditional prioritizing of state forms of formal violence toward one focusing on an apparently “new” phenomenon of transnational violence. Yet transnational violence itself is not a new phenomenon; it in fact precedes international,state-centric violence. For reasons related to gaps or defects within the state systemor to surges in the capacities of individuals and societies, transnational violence has periodically made attempts to regain its primary position. Prior to the violent jihadists,the last of these efforts was that of the late-nineteenth-century Anarchists. This articlelooks at the dynamics of the Anarchists’s failure as part of a transnational violencecontinuum, using a framework based on their autonomy, representation, and influence.The results provide an historical example against which future studies about the current episode of transnational violence may be compared.


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