March 29, 2012
Research Roundtable: Unholy Alliances, Crime-Terror Ethnonationalist and Islamist Alliances
START will welcome noted political scientist Lyubov Mincheva to campus this month to discuss transborder violence that threatens international security and her new book, “Unholy Alliances: Crime-Terror Ethnonationalist and Islamist Alliances – Challenges to European States and Regional Security,” which she co-authored with Ted Robert Gurr.
Mincheva will present the forthcoming book during a Research Roundtable 2 p.m. Thursday, March 29 in Symons Hall Rm. 3121.
Mincheva’s and Gurr’s new book examines the political economy of transborder violence on the European Periphery that poses grave threats to domestic and international security in Europe and elsewhere. The units of analysis are unholy alliances – hybrid transborder militant and criminal networks, which have been active in the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. Mincheva and Gurr extend the concept of unholy alliances to also include the trans-state criminal syndicates that arise in failed and dysfunctional states, or operate within the global illicit economy. The book aims to find what reigns supreme in securing the militants’ long term success: money; or social endowment, including strong identity networks.
The Unholy Alliances project examines six paired case studies, including the cross-border ethnonational movements of the Kosovar Albanians and the Turkish Kurds; the trans-border religious movements of the Islamists in Bosnia and Algeria; as well as the dysfunctional and vulnerable states of Bulgaria and Serbia, the first transitioning to a market economy; the second pursuing radical nationalist politics. The case study material is complemented by analysis of information from open-source coding by the Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) project of criminal activities by ethnic organizations in the Middle East and post-Communist countries.
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.