The Jihadist War Economies Project: The Political Economy of Territoriality, Illicit Business, and Proto-State Governance among Contemporary Jihadist Organizations

Project: Research project

Project Details


The JWE project seeks to connect the disparate literatures on civil war economies and state formation, in order to explain contemporary forms of jihadist governance and proto-state development. It proposes that illicit economic and political activity have a symbiotic relationship in these conflicts. With respect to the empirical work, the JWE research agenda will cover six diverse and networked jihadist organizations: 1) Taliban networks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2) the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, 3) Boko Haram in Nigeria, 4) MUJAO/Les Mirabouts in West Africa, and 5) Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Of these cases, four (Al Shabaab, Islamic State, Boko Haram, Taliban) are amongst the richest terror organizations, while MUJAO/Les Mirabouts play a critical role in profitable western African smuggling Networks.
Effective start/end date1/1/1612/31/19


  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (250173)
  • Research Council of Norway (250173)


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