Diasporas and Terrorist Recruitment

The purpose of this research is to study the role of post-conflict Balkan diaspora in Europe and their contribution to radicalization and recruitment of foreign fighters as well as home-grown terrorism. We are going to examine the trajectories of post-war refugee communities from the Balkans to Austria and other countries in Western Europe following the Bosnian and the Kosovo Wars. Here, we place particular significance on the Bosnian and Kosovar diaspora networks due to the increased recruitment network among this population, and thus, the potential for radicalization. The research seeks to understand how particular aspects of their (non-) integration have contributed to jihadists emerging from diaspora and how their perception of being insiders or outsiders contributes to their radicalisation. Counterterrorism policies may suffer misconceptions due to particular political narratives pointing to “countries of origin” of some European jihadists to present them as outsiders. We are particularly interested here in examining not only host country influences such as marginalization and stigmatization that are instrumentalized for radicalization and recruitment, but also focusing on radicalization from the perspective of diaspora related literature about the role of these non-state actors in peace and conflict more broadly. This research is particularly timely as it connects literature on terrorism where the role of diaspora in radicalization and recruitment has been understudied and undertheorized, with diaspora and migration literature which emphasizes these actors as having their own agency and claim-making potential within larger transnational processes. The Austrian setting is particularly relevant due to its diverse diaspora populations which consist of multiple generations.

  • Provider: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT in Czech) 
  • Project name: Diasporas and Terrorist Recruitment
  • Registration number: 8J22AT011
  • Investigator: Asya Metodieva 
  • Co-investigator: University of Salzburg (Dženeta Karabegovič) 
  • Implementation period: 1. 1. 2022 - 31. 12. 2023