Center for German and European Studies

Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History

In cooperation with the Department of Politics and the International and Global Studies Program at Brandeis University

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
12-1:30pm Eastern Time (US) / 6-7:30pm German time
Zoom Webinar


You can watch a recording of the complete event by clicking the button above.

Read an article about the event from Brandeis University’s independent student newspaper The Justice.

About the Event

cover of "Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History"This book tells the story of how Al Qaeda grew in the West.

In forensic and compelling detail, Brandeis professor Jytte Klausen traces how Islamist revolutionaries exiled in Europe and North America in the 1990s helped create and control one of the world's most impactful terrorist movements--and how, after the near-obliteration of the organization during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, they helped build it again. She shows how the diffusion of Islamist terrorism to Europe and North America has been driven, not by local grievances of Western Muslims, but by the strategic priorities of the international Salafi-jihadist revolutionary movement. That movement has adapted to Western repertoires of protest: agitating for armed insurrection and religious revivalism in the name of a warped version of Islam.

The jihadists-Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and their many affiliates and associates--also proved to be amazingly resilient. Again and again, the movement recovered from major setbacks. Appealing to disaffected Muslims of immigrant origin and alienated converts to Islam, Jihadist groups continue to recruit new adherents in Europe and North America, street-side in neighborhoods, in jails, and online through increasingly clandestine platforms.

Taking a comparative and historical approach, deploying cutting-edge analytical tools, and drawing on her unparalleled database of up to 6,500 Western jihadist extremists and their networks, Klausen has produced the most comprehensive account yet of the origins of Western jihadism and its role in the global movement.

For CGES followers and friends, a 30% discount is available by entering the code ASFLYQ6 at checkout if you purchase the book directly from the Oxford University Press website.

About the Speaker

Jytte KlausenJytte Klausen is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation at Brandeis University and an Affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of The Cartoons That Shook the World (Yale University Press 2009) about the worldwide protests against the Danish cartoons of the Muslim Prophet, and The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe (Oxford University Press 2005, pb. 2007). In 2006, Klausen founded the Western Jihadism Project, which studies Western violent extremists associated with al-Qa’ida.

Klausen has written for Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and other national and international outlets, and she is a regular commentator on the BBC, Voice of America, and other U.S. and international media. In 2021, Oxford University Press published her new book titled Western Jihadism: A Thirty-Year History.