Offering it for Gun and God: Finding the Configuration of Shia Nonstate Armed Actors from Below

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Research Seminar

Presented by Dr Younes Saramifar, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Université libre de Bruxelles

Moderator: Jihane SFEIR, Associate Professor, Université libre de Bruxelles - REPI


What sustains civilians’ motivations to join Islamist militias and endanger their lives fighting against armed groups? Besides religious-worldviews, what other sociocultural processes strengthen the radical commitments of armed non-state militants? Combat-experiences like group-solidarity or enjoying handling weaponry further encourage volunteer militants after religious-worldviews motivate them. These experiences generate combat-resilience among militants within the sociocultural settings of trainings and battlefields then, the combat-resilience consolidates their commitments and radicalization. Therefore, I argue radicalization is affirmed by sociocultural processes beside religious-worldviews. To counter recruitment cycles and campaigns, I propose analysts should thus focus on social practices that produce combat-resilience.

Younes Saramifar is a conflict anthropologist and he conducted an ethnography of Hezbollah training camps in Lebanon. Nowadays, he researches the texture and contours of violence among Shi’i militants in Iraq and Syria.

Online registration required by April 29th via → this link

(Complimentary sandwich lunch  for those who have signed up)

Monday April 29th2019, 12-2 pm


Solbosch Campus, Kant Room

Avenue F. Roosevelt 39

1050 Bruxelles

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