Foreign Fighters and Kosovo’s Diaspora: The case of Germany

Published by:


Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) and Berghof Foundation




Foreign Fighters and Kosovo’s Diaspora: The case of Germany




Skender Perteshi




07 October 2020


The conflicts in Syria and Iraq and the rise of the Islamic State (IS) have attracted thousands of foreign fighters from European countries to join the conflict in the Middle East. A large number of foreign fighters are second and third-generation migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and the Western Balkans. This paper aims to provide some groundwork for research on the radicalisation of immigrants, by investigating why some Kosovar immigrants in Germany have joined violent extremism organisations like IS and Hayat Tahrir al Sham. In particular, the paper identifies some of the consequences of shifting social dynamics and identity formation as the ties between the diaspora community and the country of origin change over time. The paper concludes with a few policy recommendations both to German and Kosovar political authorities on increasing the resilience of Kosovar diaspora living in Germany against radicalisation and violent extremism.


This report was written as part of a KCSS capacity building project supported by the Open Society Foundation (OSIFE), aimed at increasing collaboration between think tanks from Kosovo and EU member states. This paper is a result of the collaboration between the Kosovar Center for Security Studies and Berghof Foundation in Germany.