The Geostrategic Aspects of Jihadist Radicalisation in the Western Balkans

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Dr Vlado Azinović in conversation with Dr Denisa Kostovicova on impact of the Balkans on Jihadist radicalisation.

From the time of the Bosnian war when as many as 900 members of the Mujahideen travelled to the region to fight, the Balkans have been regarded by Al-Qaeda and now Daesh as a breeding ground for Jihadist ideology and recruitment. A recent study estimates that there are presently over 300 Bosnians fighting in Iraq and Syria and in 2015 Abu Muhammad of Al-Bosni declared the Balkans as the new front for the Caliphate.

Against this backdrop, Dr Vlado Azinović in conversation with Dr Denisa Kostovicova will discuss the foreign fighter phenomenon based on his extensive research into the dynamics of the civil war in Syria and the role of foreign fighters from Bosnia; highlighting key trends in radicalization, recruitment, facilitation, and financing of individuals poised to travel to and fight in the Syrian and Iraqi war theatres.

Dr. Vlado Azinović is Associate Professor at the Department of Peace and Security Studies, School of Political Science, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dr Azinović is the author or co-author of The New Lure of the Syrian War: The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Contingent (2016), Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Nexus with Islamist Extremism (2015); The Lure of the Syrian War: The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Contingent (2015); Introduction to the Studies of Terrorism (2012); Assessing the Potential for the Renewed Ethnic Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Security Risk Analysis (2011), Al Qaeda in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Myth or Present Danger? (2007), as well as book chapters, articles, essays and reviews on terrorism-related issues. Dr. Azinović serves as an expert witness for the State Prosecutors’ in terrorism-related cases tried before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dr Denisa Kostovicova is an Associate Professor of Global Politics at the Department of Government and Senior Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has a PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an MA from Central European University, Czech Republic. Before joining the LSE, she held Junior Research Fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and Linacre College, Oxford. Her primary research interest is post-conflict reconstruction, with a focus on transitional justice, civil society and conflict networks. She is currently researching a regional approach to transitional justice. Dr Kostovicova is the author of Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (Routledge 2005) and co-editor of Transnationalism in the Balkans (Routledge 2008), Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age (Ashgate 2009), Bottom-up Politics: An Agency-Centred Approach to Globalization (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), and Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).

This event is by invitation only. If you would like to express an interest in attending please email Emily Winterbotham.

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