Dr. Andrea Plebani is Research Fellow at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) and Associate Research Fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). He lectures at the Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MiMES), the Master in International Relations (MIR) and Master in International Human Resource Management (IHRM).
He is also a member of the Commission convened by the Italian Government to assess the threat stemming from radicalization and jihadist extremism in Italy.
In 2015 Dr. Plebani led the research group on Islamic Fundamentalism and Violence in the framework of a Cariplo-Supported project launched by the Oasis Foundation, while in 2013 he prepared for the European Parliament - Directorate General for External Policies - an assessment on the conditions of a group of refugees based in Iraq.
From 2005 to 2010 he was a Research Fellow and Program Manager at the Landau Network-Centro Volta (LNCV) where he participated in the project Italy – Iraq Bilateral Program of Human-Capacity Building and Scientific-Academic Cooperation with the Iraqi university system.
From 2010 to 2012 he was Program Manager of the EC-supported program Redirection of former Iraqi WMD scientists through capacity building for decommissioning of nuclear facilities, including site and radioactive waste management managed by the Insubria Center on International Security (ICIS).
His research focuses mainly on Iraqi history and the evolution of the jihadi galaxy. He is the author of Jihadismo Globale. Strategie del terrore tra Oriente e Occidente (2016) and co-author with Riccardo Redaelli of L'Iraq contemporaneo (2013). He is also the editor of several books, among them: After Mosul: Re-Inventing Iraq (2017); Jihad e terrorismo. Da al-Qa‘ida a ISIS. Storia di un nemico che cambia (2016); New (and old) patterns of jihadism: al-Qa‘ida, the Islamic State and beyond (2014). He co-edited with Martino Diez La galassia fondamentalista tra jihad armato e partecipazione politica (2015) and with Omar Al-Ubaydli, GCC relations with post-war Iraq: a strategic perspective (2014).
From al-Qa‘ida to the Islamic State: patterns of evolution and differentiation of the jihadi galaxy
The module examines the origins and the evolution of the jihadi galaxy. In doing so it focuses on al-Qa'ida from an ideological and structural point of view. The module also takes in exam the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), focusing on the origins of the movement as well as its modus operandi and its peculiar doctrinal milieu.
History and politics of modern Iraq
Operation Iraqi Freedom contributed to alter dramatically Iraqi internal dynamics and the fragile equilibriums that came to dominate the Middle Eastern geopolitical complex for decades. The fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, the inability of the US-led coalition to cope with the huge socio-political and economic vacuum it produced and the unleashing of the “genie of sectarianism” over such a diverse socio-political fabric are only few of the elements that contributed to the ascendance of the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate. The course aims to briefly delineate the history of the Iraqi polity, focusing in particular on its main socio-political features, on its diversity and on the post-Saddam Hussein era. In this framework particular attention is given to the main events that shaped the contours of the post-2003 Iraq and the challenges the country has to face at the political, economic and security levels.
Global Jihadism, al-Qa‘ida and the “Islamic State”
The module examines the origins and the evolution of the jihadi galaxy. In doing so it focuses on al-Qa'ida from an ideological and structural point of view. The module also takes in exam the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), focusing on the origins of the movement as well as it modus operandi and its peculiar doctrinal milieu. The last part of the module is dedicated to examining the possible evolution of the broader jihadi galaxy