332 strategy? And are the root causes of the insurgency being addressed? The two chapters following the introduction examine the historical development of Islam in Nigeria (chapter 2), and the origin and evolution of radical groups in Nigeria (chapter 3). In chapter 2, Virginia Comolli situates BH within a historical theological context. This provides welcome background information for readers, and although she does not problematise the invasions by France and later the British Empire, which put an end to the Kingdom of Bornu, she chronicles Dan Fodio’s Jihad, which is often cited as an inspiration for BH. In chapter 3, Comolli details the theological/ideological precursors of BH, namely, Izala and Maitatsine. This provides the historical context of religious movements in Nigeria, especially with BH sharing its Wahhabi roots with Izala and recruitment base (almajirai) with Maitatsine. The fourth chapter asks the following question: Who are BH? This particular question has been extensively written about but the author shows critical judgement to properly discern the answer among the conflicting narratives, albeit at a cost of advancing no definitive history of BH, which may leave some readers in doubt. This may also be considered as a strength, however, as there is no indubitable evolutionary narrative of BH. In chapter 5, the author examines BH’s quest for internationalisation by citing their publicised allegiance, apparent tactical appropriation and alleged exchange of expertise with other groups as pointers. However, some caution must be exercised, since the one-off attack on the UN building in Abuja and speculative connections between BH (and Ansaru) and groups in the Sahel and beyond cannot emphatically imply ‘internationalisation’ without problematising Westphalian statehood in Africa. A particular strength of this book lies in the sixth chapter, where Comolli provides a meticulous account of the Nigerian response to BH. A detailed account of the effectiveness of these measures, which can only be achieved through a detailed critique of counterterrorism practices, might have helped. However, this appears to be outside the remit of her book. The chapter Political Studies Review 15(2) is somewhat less thorough in regard to the responses of neighbouring countries such as Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Akinyemi Oyawale (University of East Anglia) 16 © The Author(s) 2017 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1478929916687773 journals.sagepub.com/home/psrev Hamas, Jihad and Popular Legitimacy: Reinterpreting Resistance in Palestine by Tristan Dunning. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016. 236pp., £90.00 (h/b), ISBN 9781138937291 Hamas, Jihad and Popular Legitimacy presents detailed research on the multiple activities and roles of the Palestinian armed movement Hamas in the context of contemporary Palestinian society. The book analyses the development of the movement since its foundation in the 1980s until the present time. It uses an original prospective which contextualises Hamas’ existence and resilience in the framework of the Palestinian society under Israeli occupation. From the first chapters on, the book intends to oppose the picture of Hamas provided in the Western mainstream media and terrorism studies which describe Hamas as an irrational terrorist entity completely devoted to an eschatological violent version of Islam similar to that of Al-Qa’eda and Islamic State. Tristan Dunning takes into consideration Hamas’ numerous activities within Palestinian society, from armed resistance to charity and social development. To provide a satisfying account of Hamas as a social and political actor, he focuses on the polysemic meaning of ‘resistance’ and ‘Jihad’ within the rhetoric of Hamas. Hamas uses these concepts and the political violence that they imply in a flexible way, as tactical tools for strategic goals. In particular, political violence is used as a propagandistic means aimed to obtain political power in an environment lacking other means for empowerment. In fact, Hamas has demonstrated its readiness to switch to other kinds of non-violent tactics when the political environ- 333 Book Reviews ment provides the chance to utilise them, as that which occurred during the 2006 legislative elections. In this book, academics, analysts and journalists specialising in terrorism and Middle East studies can find a more balanced, unbiased and therefore realistic picture of Hamas, in which the movement emerges as a rational and incentive-sensitive political actor. The book is an insightful analysis of Hamas’ interactions with Palestinian society. However, it lacks an equally detailed analysis of the dynamics present within Hamas itself as a complex organisation. The relationship between the different currents in which the movement is divided are only lightly sketched and a more detailed analysis would have provided a better understanding of the behaviour of Hamas as a political actor in several key situations. Furthermore, while the author carries out an accurate and acute critique of large sections of the Western contemporary media and academic narrative, he tends to describe this as the only narrative present within the Western public and academic debate, neglecting the important role played by many critical voices which are also part of the same debate – and include among them numerous scholars quoted in the volume and the author himself. Eugenio Dacrema (University of Trento) © The Author(s) 2017 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1478929917692351 journals.sagepub.com/home/psrev The Legacy of Iraq: From the 2003 War to the ‘Islamic State’ by Benjamin Isakhan (ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015. 278pp., £75.00 (h/b), ISBN 9780748696161 Since 9/11, US foreign policy has been strategically aimed at the Middle East. Central to this was the invasion of Iraq when the United States launched a ‘pre-emptive strike’ without the UN’s approval on the pretext of Iraq being an al-Qa’eda ally and in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The war turned ugly with casualties on both sides and despite the pronouncement of ‘mission accomplished’ by George W Bush (p. 2). The extensive Ba’ath state machinery was destroyed. Iraq, with its vast oil reserves, was brought to its knees. This is the story documented in this book about Iraq’s legacies of blood and chaos. The book is divided into four parts. Part I deals with ‘The Aftermath of War’ and shows that the first concern of the Americans, as Benjamin Isakhan rightly states, was to ‘deBa’athify Iraq’ (p. 21). It is no coincidence that Iraq descended into disorder when the entities built up by Saddam Hussein were dissolved. This created an army of ‘disgruntled’ elements (p. 25) and is without a doubt the most ‘troublesome’ legacy hovering over Iraq to this day (p. 33). So why was Iraq invaded? The answer is that Iraq’s oil constituted a ‘threat’ to various interests, including those of the West (p. 37). Ironically, the ‘liberators’ then had to carry the moral baggage of episodes like Abu Ghraib’s ‘use of torture’ and the invaders’ impunity, which increased hatred of the Coalition forces (pp. 51–63). The second part turns to the ‘increasingly dictatorial’ personalities within Iraq, dominated by the Shi’as, and the prospect of healing the nation shattered, coupled with the plight of the country’s minorities (p. 80). Part III addresses the sorry state of Iraqi society since the invasion. The world has seen the images on television of women ‘dragged from their houses without time to dress appropriately’ and men humiliated in front of their wives and daughters. This was what sparked outrage, as Perri Campbell and other contributors rightly state (p. 143). Part IV presents the international perspective of the unfortunate legacies. I agree with Howard Adelman’s assessment that the war brought about a sectarian ‘polarisation’, which flourished like wild fire (p. 181). The Legacy of Iraq speaks to us directly to rise up against senseless wars waged by warmongers. In my opinion, most of the mistakes cited in the book were deliberate, because the war was opposed even by many US citizens. It is wishful thinking to hastily bring a ‘neoconservative ideology’ to fit into post-Saddam Iraq (p. 225). It appears that the West has not learned any lesson from its misadventures. Hence, I agree with the book’s conclusion that the greatest legacy of the war in Iraq is the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).