What We're Reading
November 2018 | Western Balkans

For this month’s What We Are Reading, RESOLVE collects literature on violent extremism in the Western Balkans. This month, in partnership with the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations of the U.S. Department of State, RESOLVE is launching a new research and convening project to identify solutions to violent extremism in the Western Balkans. The project aims to increase collaboration and elevate regional understandings of violent extremist threats and vulnerabilities, building upon existing networks and initiatives already active in the region.  The readings below give background on the history of ethnic and religious divides and their consequences in the Balkans and incorporate current challenges related to radicalization, returning foreign fighters, and community resilience. Click the links below to learn more. 

Publication
Working towards Resilient Communities
Samet Shabani
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This policy paper focuses on the specific factors and drivers of violent extremism in Macedonia, and aims to address the core roots of this issue by investigating the dynamics of its deve...
Publication
Community Level Recommendations for Preventing Violent Extremism in Kosovo
UNDP Kosovo
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This is an updated assessment based on recommendations of a UNDP supported assessment conducted in 2015 to inform the Kosovo CVE strategy. Commissioned by UNDP and the MoIA, this research...
Article
Violent Extremism: Beyond Foreign Fighters and Behind Numbers
Predrag Petrović and Florian Qehaja
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The fact that from 2013 until 2015 almost 1,000 people from the Western Balkans left to fight in Syria and Iraq is a matter of ongoing concern.1 Even though the number of foreign fighters...
Publication
Returning Foreign Fighters and the Reintegration Imperative
Georgia Holmer and Adrian Shtuni
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Various countries, especially in the Balkans and North Africa, now face the challenge of managing the return of their citizens who have fought in the Iraq and Syria conflicts. As of early...
Publication
The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West
Christopher Deliso
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The Balkans, the gateway between East and West, are also Europe's soft underbelly, a rough neighborhood where organized crime and terrorism present a constant threat. This eye-opening boo...
Article
Assessing Islamic terrorism in the Western Balkans: the state of the debate
Aristotle Tziampiris
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During the 1990s foreign mujahedin fighters espousing an extreme Islamic ideology fought on Balkan soil. The extent and consequences of their presence in the Western Balkans constitute a ...
Article
Muslims and Islamic Fundamentalism In Macedonia
Marko Babić
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Despite the fact that Macedonia achieved independence in a peaceful manner in 1991, its position has been continuously challenged in political, economic and security dimensions ever since...
Publication
Transnational Terrorism, Organized Crime and Peace-Building: Human Security in the Western Balkans
Wolfgang Benedek, Christopher Daase, Vojin Dimitrijević, Petrus van Duyne
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This volume investigates the role of the transnational terrorist and criminal organizations in the peace-building processes, with a particular focus on the Western Balkan region. Conducte...
Article
A Deal with the Devil: United States Foreign Policy in the Balkans
John R. Fulton
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Beginning with the collapse of Yugoslavia, the United States has made the seemingly comfortable policy choice of aligning itself with Muslim separatists in Bosnia and Kosovo. Copying th...
Article
The Balkans' Lethal Nationalisms
William W. Hagen
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The war in Kosovo has reinforced the Balkans' image as a cauldron of ethnic hatred. Many commentators argue that the region has always been wracked by ancient hatreds. Others argue that t...
Publication
Understanding Local Drivers of Violent Extremism in Kosovo
International Republican Institute
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From February to March 2017, the International Republican Institute (IRI) conducted qualitative research with residents from four municipalities in Kosovo: Pristina, Ferizaj, Hani i Elezi...
Article
After ethnic civil war—Ethno-nationalism in the Western Balkans
Karin Dyrstad
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While the study of the causes of civil war is a well-established subdiscipline in international relations, the effects of civil war on society remain less understood. Yet, such effects co...
Publication
Opportunities for Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in the Western Balkans
Engjellushe Morina, Stina Lundström, Véronique Dudouet, Beatrix Austin
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This project combines collaborative research and dialogue initiatives on the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia. Together with ...