Agnesa Dalipi

Date of Graduation

Summer 2016


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Kerry Kartchner


Kosovo, Kosovar, foreign fighters, the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Middle East

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


This thesis examines the root causes of the appeal of violent Islamic extremism that led to the surge of foreign fighters from Kosovo to Syria and Iraq. The subject of Islamic foreign fighter recruitment is a nascent area of research. From the analysis of the phenomenon in Kosovo, this thesis seeks to extrapolate insights that can be applied more broadly to the debate over whether the success in the Islamic State's recruitment is a result of religious or socioeconomic factors, or a combination of both. Understanding the causes will enable counterterrorist analysts and in both Kosovo and other countries to develop ultimate and sustainable solutions to stem the flow of foreign fighters that join violent Islamic groups. The thesis concludes with recommendations that the Kosovo government can consider implementing to begin to mitigate the radicalization of Kosovo.


© Agnesa Dalipi

Open Access