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Unemployment and Violent Extremism: Evidence from Daesh Foreign Recruits

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  • Mohamed Abdel Jelil

    (World Bank)

  • Kartika Bhatia
  • Anne Brockmeyer
  • Quy-Toan Do
  • Cl´ement Joubert

Abstract

Transnational terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State (also known as Daesh) have shown an ability to attract radicalized individuals from many countries to join their ranks, and perpetrate attacks around the world. Using a novel data set that reports countries of residence and educational levels of a large sample of Daesh’s foreign recruits, we find that a lack of economic opportunities – measured by unemployment rates disaggregated by country and education level – explains foreign enrollment in the terrorist organization, especially for countries that are geographically closer to Syria.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohamed Abdel Jelil & Kartika Bhatia & Anne Brockmeyer & Quy-Toan Do & Cl´ement Joubert, 2019. "Unemployment and Violent Extremism: Evidence from Daesh Foreign Recruits," Working Papers 1293, Economic Research Forum, revised 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:1293
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    1. Jean-Paul Azam & Véronique Thelen, 2008. "The roles of foreign aid and education in the war on terror," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 375-397, June.
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    6. Efraim Benmelech & Esteban F. Klor, 2016. "What Explains the Flow of Foreign Fighters to ISIS?," NBER Working Papers 22190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Thiemo Fetzer, 2014. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 053, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola, Brugali & Paolo, Buonanno & Mario, Gilli, 2018. "Political Regimes and the Determinants of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism," Working Papers 384, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 13 Jul 2018.
    2. Muhammad Qasim & Zahid Pervaiz & Amatul Razzaq Chaudhary, 2020. "Do Poverty and Income Inequality Mediate the Association Between Agricultural Land Inequality and Human Development?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 115-134, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy

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