Til bevillingsoversigt

Foreign fighters: Past, Present and Future

Special Research Projects


To what extent is it possible to conceptualize a global history of transnational war volunteering? That is the main challenge of this project


Since the end of the Cold War, the phenomenon of individuals and groups volunteering to fight abroad on behalf of their co-religionists has expanded considerably. Crucially, this project is not only about history. It wants to engage with the present as well as the future to better understand a phenomenon which is causing concern all over the world.


The proposed project offers a new interpretative framework based on three interlocking research strands, which carefully examine the time-spam from the antifascist struggles of the 1930s to the present. We will conduct research in many different archives across Europe, North Africa, Central and North America.


If we are indeed concerned about contemporary foreign fighters, we must do all we can to understand how the phenomenon of foreign war volunteering operates. Thus, its overriding ambition is to offers key conceptual registers to better comprehend the rapid emergence of foreign fighters in contemporary and future conflicts.