The “Syria traveller”: reintegration or legal sanctioning?
This article by Katrine Fangen and Åshild Kolås published in Critical Studies on Terrorism analyses discourses on Islamist radicalisation and threats of terrorism in Norway, with a focus on a new category of people known as “Syria travellers”.
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This article analyses discourses on Islamist radicalisation and threats of terrorism in Norway, with a focus on a new category of people known as “Syria travellers”, i.e. young Norwegians who go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. Our analysis of debates in the media, policy documents and parliamentary discussions revealed two main narratives regarding the authorities’ response to Syria travellers: the first emphasises legal sanctions, and the second highlights the reintegration of returnees. We found that contentions about how to react to the new kind of people (the Syria travellers) are intertwined with the way these people are portrayed, understood or “made up”. In the political realm, there is also a striking consensus on the need for both reintegrative and legislative responses.