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The Formation of Unholy Alliances: How violence threatens international security


The Formation of Unholy Alliances: How violence threatens international security

April 27, 2012Claire Simon

In her new book, "Unholy Alliances: Crime-Terror Ethnonationalist and Islamist Alliances ? Challenges to European States and Regional Security," Lyubov Mincheva discusses how transborder violence threatens international security. Co-written by START Researcher Ted Robert Gurr, the book investigates the political economy of violence on the European Periphery that poses threats to domestic and international security.

Mincheva presented her research to START at a roundtable in March 2012. She and Gurr used three different research methodologies:

  • Minorities at Risk (MAR) based global survey to identify trans-state identity groups and major conflict potential in every world region.
  • Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) based regional surveys from the Middle East and the post-Communist states to identify successful fundraising models used by networks of transborder militants.
  • Comparative case studies on the European periphery, including: Albanian nationalists in Kosovo and Macedonia, Turkish Kurdish nationalists, Bosnia Islamists and Algerian Islamists

"Our study of transborder unholy alliances suggest that the European Union policies aimed at cracking down on transborder violence and crime should be guided by three rules," Mincheva says. Mincheva's three rules are:

  • Emphasis on local/regional conflict prevention, management and resolution when actors are cross-border hybrid militant
  • Emphasis on conflict prevention, border control and anti-crime terrorism policy in European Union neighborhood and accession areas when actors are transborder militant identity networks
  • Emphasis on long term economic strategies, European Union accession process and border control when primary actors are nation states

For more information on the Unholy Alliances project, please click here.

Mincheva is an associate professor of political science at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, where her specialties include regional politics of Europe, conflict analysis, European security studies and post-Communist transitions.