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        • This brief looks at the most significant drivers of (violent) extremism in Serbia and how they influence and empower one another and also offers recommendations for their mitigation. The analysis rests primarily on the findings of the Extremism Research Forum (ERF) country report for Serbia: research conducted as part of the FCO funded Western Balkans Extremism Research Forum, led by the British Council, from June to October 2017, which consisted of a meta-analysis of existing studies supplemented by a series of interviews and focus groups in Novi Pazar and Belgrade. The findings of 1other relevant studies have also informed the research and analysis.

           

          The research has shown that the threat of Islamist violent extremism and terrorism in Serbia has reduced. Not only are there are a small numbers of foreign fighters and returnees, but there are now few extremist who could be labeled as violent. The demise of ISIS and its ideological attractiveness has contributed significantly to the lowered threat of violent extremism.

           

          What raises concerns however is the fact that there is a growing number of non-violent and not-now-violent Islamist extremists who could be radicalised in the future, if the balance of influencing factors take effect. It should be also noted that far right extremism is gaining support in Serbia and that both forms of extremism could have reinforcing effects on each other. This is possible not only when combined with a variety of socio-economic push factors that are still present, but they are also worsening, causing increasing number of people, especially young people, to become frustrated, and thus vulnerable to extremism as an alternative option.

           

          This paper strongly advocates for the introduction of long term measures that would address relative deprivation problem in Serbia as a foundation for mid and short term policy measures. Without addressing problems related to good governance and development, mid and short-term measures would yield only temporary results.

           

          Download the brief HERE.

        • Tags: extremism, violent extremism, Extremism Research Forum, Predrag Petrović
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