Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq and the Socio-Economic Environment They Faced at Home: A Comparison of European Countries

Philip Verwimp


This article looks at the gap in labour market and school outcomes between non-EU immigrants and natives in European countries. It then correlates the related socio-economic data with the number of foreign fighters per million inhabitants as well as per million non-EU immigrants. It emerges that larger gaps correlate with higher numbers of foreign fighters, with Belgium emerging as the worst performer in the sample. While not offering a full, causal and micro-level model to understand the link completely, the present analysis nevertheless finds a clear and robust pattern across much of Europe.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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