Jihadism in Europe today. Does fighting jihad still hold global appeal?

Professor Olivier Roy has argued persuasively that there is something new and deadlier about the jihadi terrorist violence of the past two decades. Particularly the thousands of Europeans who travelled to the Middle East to join Islamist militant movements or attack at home in their name, direct our critical attention towards European jihadism and the societies in which it develops. These foreign fighters came from all strata of society and represent a broad spectrum – from young idealist and diligent school girls to pious Salafi-jihadists or hardened criminals. Some went for the duration of their semester holiday while others sought a completely new life in the caliphate, or deliberately pursued their own deaths fighting jihad. This has given rise to an academic and policy debate on how best to understand what motivates someone who was born or brought up in a European welfare state to leave its comfort and safety to engage in what seems to be a far-removed conflict, and whether such a choice also indicates a desire to engage in terrorism in Europe.

In this talk, Olivier Roy and Maja Greenwood will discuss what the unprecedented number of foreign fighters says about contemporary European jihadism, and what it says about European societies today; is such jihadist violence a consequence of a particular religious ideological attitude, or does the religious ideology merely provide a legitimising narrative for violent actions that grow out of frustrations caused by social marginalisation?

This event is a joint venture between the Danish Institute of International Studies and Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC), University of Copenhagen.

Professor Olivier Roy is in town because he is part of the assessment committee for Maja Greenwood's PhD dissertation, 'Becoming a Foreign Fighter. The Ethics and Agency of Fighting Jihad', to be defended Monday the 24th of September at 2 pm. Read more here.

Programme, Tuesday 25 September 2018

10.00 - 10.10 Welcome

10.10 - 10.40 Contemporary European jihadism, Professor Olivier Roy

10.40 - 11.00 European foreign fighters, Maja Greenwood, Ph.D. 

11.00 - 11.30 Q&A

Practical information

The seminar will be held in English.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use the online registration form no later than Monday 24 September 2018 at 12.00 noon.