The Terrorist as Humanitarian

in Social Analysis

A global society has come into being, but as yet it possesses no political institutions proper to its name. I will make the case that new forms of militancy, like that of al-Qaeda, achieve meaning in this institutional vacuum while representing, in their own way, the search for a global politics. From environmentalism to pacifism, such a worldwide politics can only be one that takes humanity itself as its object. This article aims to show that militant practices are informed by the same search that animates humanitarianism, which has become the global aim and signature of all politics today.