January 14, 2021
This week Asya Metodieva successfully defended her thesis “Foreign Fighter Recruitment as the Continuation of a War”.
Dr. Metodieva’s thesis is an excellent study of Bosnian and Albanian Jihadi foreign fighter recruitment, which contributes to the theoretical understating of the phenomenon of foreign fighters as well as to the empirical knowledge of their recruitment in a post-conflict setting. The thesis asked how post-war radical milieus in Europe shape the recruitment of foreign fighters. The answer points to the significant role played by local influencers in the recruitment of Bosnian and Albanian foreign fighters in the West Balkans, in a context of indigenous Muslim communities with recent experiences in conflict. The findings suggest that far from following universal and generalizable pathways into Islamist militancy, European Jihadi foreign fighters’ radicalization and recruitment follow various local dynamics. This in turn explains the geographical variations and concentrations in levels of contribution of foreign fighters to the Middle East conflicts.
Great work, Dr. Metodieva! We wish you all the best.