Extremism Research Forum, Literature Review, Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans

Through an analysis of empirical and non-empirical literature, this review examines treatment of the topic of Islamist radicalisation and violent extremism in the Western Balkans. This literature indicates that regional wars which took place from 1991 to 2001, along with poverty, national and ethnic tensions and the presence of significant indigenous Muslim populations, have been harnessed by Middle Eastern charities in their proselytization and recruitment efforts. Though these organisations are not necessarily involved in radicalisation that leads to violence, Salafi proselytisation is always introduced to contextualise the discussion of Salafi-jihadism – an ideology that has inspired terrorism and has driven foreign fighters to depart from Western Balkans countries for Syrian and Iraqi battlefields.