What Drives Europeans to Syria and to IS? Insights from the Belgian case

Year of publication: 2015
Author(s): Rik Coolsaet
Appeared in: Egmont Paper, vol.: 75, (Update June 2015)

Download: egmont_paper_75_june.pdf


Today’s foreign fighters in Syria are difficult to compare with yesterday’s foreign fighters. Political radicalisation is no longer the key driver. Their decision is embedded in a youth subculture that developed in reaction to an environment many resent as complex, demanding, unequal, and devoid of hope for a better future. Syria is a way of escape.