Understanding why youth fight in the Middle East: The case of Pankisi

From 2014 to 2016, the small Pankisi Gorge region of the Republic of Georgia experienced a phenomenon that saw a disproportionate number of young men travel to become foreign terrorist fighters with jihadist groups in the Middle East, including ISIS. This report explores how gender, age, and religious identity intersect to contribute to this phenomenon. It also explores the role women can play in the prevention of future young people traveling from the region to become jihadists.

The report draws conclusions that are aimed to help government authorities, local civil society, and international actors better understand highly localized phenomena and develop contextually appropriate responses.

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