On March 6, 2018, the Program on Extremism at George Washington University and the International Republican Institute (IRI) co-hosted an event on the challenges facing the governments of the Western Balkans in their efforts to prevent violent extremism. A panel of experts discussed foreign terrorist fighters from the Balkans in Syria and Iraq, their potential return to the region, and the options in place for local governments and civil society organizations to respond to violent extremism and radicalization.
As part of the panel discussion, the Program on Extremism and IRI hosted Dr. Vlado Azinovic and Dr. Edina Becirevic, two experts on violent extremism in the Balkans from the Atlantic Initiative in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. IRI's Regional Deputy Director for Europe, Paul McCarthy, also shared his insights and provided an overview of IRI's work in the region on countering violent extremism programs. The discussion was moderated by Program on Extremism research fellow Bennett Clifford.