Workshop on Transnational Extremist Organizations

  • Walther, Olivier (PI)

Project: Research

Project Details


The researchers involved in the planned activities will study the socio-political organization and spatial patterns of transnational extremist organizations (TEOs). Previous studies on transnational conflicts have mainly focused on the historical development of TEOs, radical propaganda, geopolitical challenges and counterterrorism measures. In such studies, the social networks underlying political and religious movements and the spatial patterns of attacks have been considered separately. The recent evolution of such groups as Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or the Islamic State has, however, challenged this view, by showing that TEOs operated along pre-existing marital, political, ethnic and financial networks. This is particularly true when extremist organizations extend their activities across borders, due to the uncertainty of operating in a foreign environment. Combining political science and
border studies, the planned activities will address this gap in the literature by developing a mixed-methods approach to transnational extremist organizations that can simultaneously take into account their social networks, political motivations, and spatial patterns. By analyzing the embeddedness of extremist organizations in network geographical space, our aim is to understand how location of actors, spatial practices, and geographic arrangements of networks affect social ties and lead TEOs to cooperate or be in conflict with other armed groups or government forces

Layman's description

Effective start/end date01/01/201631/07/2017