Affective Events: An Anthropological Study of Danish Foreign Fighters

Project Details


This research programme will contribute new knowledge on why and how Danish youngsters are mobilized by foreign wars. Since the civil war in Syria began in 2011 a growing number of youngsters from Western countries have joined military organizations in response to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The Danish Intelligence Service estimates that, from Denmark alone, at least 150 people have taken part in the war. The little research done in the field stresses psychological and socio-economic contributing factors; however, my previous research on immigrants and political activism indicates the centrality of events in mobilization processes. Hence, this project proposes to explore the following overall questions: How do events move people to become ‘foreign fighters’? And what kind of social formation emerges in this process? Empirically, the study investigates why and how Danish youngsters travel to Syria and Iraq to take up arms. Theoretically, the study provides insight into how we can understand the relationship between event, affect and social formation – what I choose to call ‘affective events’. It will explore how events like the war in Syria affect people and enable new social forms like ‘foreign fighters’ to emerge.
Effective start/end date01/11/201631/10/2021
  • The Rhythm of Rupture: Attunement among Danish Jihadists

    Kublitz, A., 2019, Ruptures : Anthropologies of Discontinuity in Times of Turmoil. Holbraad, M., Kapferer, B. & Sauma, J. (eds.). London: UCL Press, p. 174-192 19 p.

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