Social Welfare and ISIS Foreign Fighters
Gouda, M., & Marktanner, M. (2021). Social Welfare and ISIS Foreign Fighters. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-021-09485-4
43 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2018 Last revised: 8 Dec 2021
Date Written: June 29, 2018
Recently, there have been numerous reports about Islamic State (IS) fighters receiving welfare payments from their home countries, sometimes for many years. In this study, we empirically investigate the hypothesis that social welfare has a positive effect on IS recruitment, by increasing potential terrorists’ capacity for joining IS in Syria and Iraq. Unlike previous empirical research on welfare and terrorism, we find considerable evidence that countries that have more social welfare spending tend to witness a higher number of its citizens joining IS overseas. The hypothesis is mostly confirmed in OECD countries where a 1% increase in the social safety spending (%GDP) increases the number of foreign fighters by 0.87%.
Keywords: Conflict, Empirical Conflict Research, Terrorism Financing, Islamic State, Terrorism
JEL Classification: D74, F51, F52, J22, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation