Belgian and Dutch Young Men and Women who Joined ISIS: Ethnographic Research among the Families they Left Behind.

TitleBelgian and Dutch Young Men and Women who Joined ISIS: Ethnographic Research among the Families they Left Behind.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
Authorsvan San, Marino
JournalStudies in Conflict & Terrorism
Volume41
Issue4
Date Published01/2018
Abstract

Since the end of 2012 a sizeable number of Belgian and Dutch young men and women have joined the armed conflict in Syria. According to recent estimates, there are 632 Belgian and 260 Dutch foreign fighters in Syria. Very little is known about the families these men and women come from. The research on which this article is based comprised ethnographic research among 26 families with at least one member who has left for Syria to join the armed struggle. In addition, former teachers of these youngsters were asked to reflect on their students' actions. The central question of this article is whether or not the families of youngsters who left for Syria played a supporting role in the departure decision and, therefore, the process of radicalization of the young men and women. To answer this question the families' perception of the armed struggle is described. Also discussed are signals of radicalization present prior to the youngsters' departure and actions taken by the families to prevent departure or alternatively facilitate their trip. [UNC Chapel Hill]

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