Charles Lister

Returning Foreign Fighters: Criminalization or Reintegration?

Brookings Institution


Drawing on case studies from countries such as France, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, this Policy Briefing by Charles Lister points to the necessity of counterterrorism measures, yet cautions against allowing these policies to translate into blanket criminalization of individuals or communities. On a basic level, policymakers will have to navigate between “hard” policies of criminal investigation and prosecution and more “liberal” policies that that aim to rehabilitate fighters and better reintegrate them into their home communities.