New research sub-project in 2018

2017-10-19

A new research sub-project will be launched in 2018: "Conflict Prevention 2.0: Preventing ‘transjihadization’ of Islamist armed conflicts". The project will examine the conditions under which Islamist conflicts are transformed into transjihadist variations, and how that can be prevented.

Armed conflicts involving groups with self-proclaimed political Islamist aspirations represent the majority of conflicts in today’s world. The most challenging type of Islamist conflicts is in turn ‘transjihadist’ conflicts, in which rebel demands go beyond the nation-state, for example by demanding the establishment of a caliphate. The increase in such conflicts in recent years is driven almost entirely by the territorial expansion of the Islamic State (IS), which has drawn existing armed conflicts into what is portrayed as a global jihad. IS has created new ‘provinces’ of its alleged caliphate in other countries, and in several cases (e.g. Afghanistan and Nigeria), initially locally oriented Islamist conflicts have been globalized. Thus, the most significant change is not primarily the increase in Islamist armed conflicts, but how they mutate and change form.

This project will examine the conditions under which Islamist conflicts are transformed into transjihadist variations, and how such processes of transjihadization (a combination of internationalization and radicalization) can be prevented. Through a global comparative analysis of transjihadist versus Muslim-identity conflicts as well as process-tracing of four cases of conflicts that became transjihadist, the project hopes to shed light on the conditions under which actors in conflicts resisted attempts of internationalization and radicalization. This research project will help us understand how to create greater resilience against attempts of transjihadization.