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Global Migration Centre

The Forgotten Generation: British Muslim Foreign Fighting in the Bosnian Civil War, 1981-1995

This research project exploits a hybrid methodology lying between social and global history.

The Forgotten Generation: British Muslim Foreign Fighting in the Bosnian Civil War, 1981-1995
 

At the outbreak of the Bosnian civil war in 1992, a number of Arab mujaheddin fled Afghanistan towards the Balkans in defense of Bosnian Muslims.

Such a wave of foreign Arab fighting has been meticulously studied already. However, far less attention has been devoted to European Muslims -born and bred in Western Europe, in particular from Britain, France and Italy- who rejoined the Bosnian battlefield in support of local Muslims too.

Still now, such a tendency, coming from the West seems to be that of ‘a forgotten generation’ in the current historiography of Western political violence.

Has this movement been the first case of European Muslim foreign fighting and if so, why? Was the Bosnian war specifically suited to attract recruits from the West? Or, on the contrary, does such a development depend more on a British historical evolutionary context? How can the case of British Muslim foreign fighters in Bosnia enhance our understanding of a phenomenon which still now requires the articulation of more tailored interrogations?

The current research project exploits a hybrid methodology lying between social and global history and, by means of archival resource, aims to innovate both the methodology and the historiography of political violence and radicalism.

 

 

TIMELINE

September 2022 - October 2025

 

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