Victim versus villain: Repatriation policies for foreign fighters and the construction of gendered and racialised 'threat narratives'

Helen Stenger
2022 European Journal of International Security  
State responses to repatriation of Islamic State (ISIS) foreign fighters and their children detained across Syria and Iraq are highly diverse. Repatriation policies implemented between 2018 and 2020 range from denying repatriation of nationals and revocation of citizenship to repatriation and subsequent gender-responsive rehabilitation programmes. What explains the variation in state responses? This article seeks to explain why repatriation policies differ despite the global challenges faced by
more » ... all states. It investigates and categorises the repatriation policies for foreign fighters across 69 countries ranging from unconditional repatriation to denying repatriation. To explain the state responses to a common security and human rights dilemma, a mixed-method approach is employed involving an explorative statistical analysis to test key explanations and a narrative analysis. The findings reveal how diverse social constructions of gendered and racialised 'threat narratives' of foreign fighters in policy documents and the media explain variation in foreign fighter repatriation policies.
doi:10.1017/eis.2022.28 fatcat:qbhzmmvokzcglcnmoe7w2px7gq