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An Assessment of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ Commitment to Reintegrate: A Case Study of Kwale County, Kenya
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The preoccupation in the past decades with theorizing radicalization in order to prevent violent extremism has left deradicalization undertheorized. As the number of returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) is expected to increase as a result of the anticipated military and intelligence advancement on terrorism, the reintegration imperative stresses the urgency to develop comprehensive reintegration and deradicalization strategies.

This study seeks to contribute to filling the research deficit begging for empirical data informed by FTFs’ experiences of, and challenges in, reintegration, through qualitative interviews with returning FTFs in Kwale County, Kenya; a county producing a relative majority of Kenyan recruits to Al Shabaab who are now offered amnesty on return to their county of origin. The Life Psychology framework, which assumes an inherent human strive to obtain a good life, i.e. life embeddedness, is adopted for the analysis. The study finds that returnees commit to reintegration in the absence of other alternatives, due to economic incentives and longing for acceptance. It confirms that the process requires the societal motivation in facilitation, but will fail without the sustained commitment of the returning FTF. The study further establishes that returning FTFs are not able to obtain a flow in life embeddedness, which would indicate inability to reintegrate. Yet, many of the interviewed returning FTFs express the contrary, which challenges the concept of life embeddedness as an indicator for reintegration. The study further challenges the general assumption that deradicalization is a precondition for reintegration, as it finds that radicalized individuals are able to reintegrate into communities of origin without deserting held radical beliefs, if those communities share radical sentiments.

This study contributes to filling the deficit in empirical data, which when advanced will work to avert security threats posed by returning FTFs and enable utilizing the potential of the phenomenon to counter violent extremism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 66
Keywords [en]
Al Shabaab, Terrorism, Foreign Terrorist Fighter, Reintegration, Countering Violent Extremism, Returnee, Life Psychology, Life Embeddedness, Kwale, Kenya
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-75957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-75957DiVA, id: diva2:1218976
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
International Social Sciences Programme, specialization Global Studies, 180 credits
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Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-18 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf