Annual Western Balkan Resilience Forum Puts Spotlight on Ethnonationalist and Religious Extremism
Washington, D.C.—Religiousand ethnonationalist extremism remains a key challenge for theheterogeneous Western Balkans.Over the past year, the return ofa number offoreign fighterstotheregionhas renewedanxietyover extremism and security.
According to aMarch 2019 pollby the International Republican Institute’s (IRI)Center for Insights in Survey Research(CISR), 56percent of Bosnians view returning foreign fighters as a threat to national security.At the same time,the majority ofrespondents believe ethnonationalist extremism is more prevalent in Bosnia than religious extremism (51 percent compared to 18 percent).These worries may informwidespreadpessimism overBosnia’s future, asan alarming83 percent of Bosnians believe their country is headed in the wrong direction.
This poll provides insightsinto the concerns of Bosnians, and will informthe secondannualWestern Balkans Resilience Forum,which will take placein Sofia, BulgariafromDecember 12-14, 2019. This year’s forum willengagelocal, national and regional stakeholders from the Western Balkans and Bulgariain discussions surrounding returnees and their families,as well as local resilience to extremism. Regional ministers of interior, national CVE coordinators, local government officials, civil society representatives, academics, local practitioners, researchers and journalistswill all take part in the forum.
Throughthis conference and related activities in the region, regional experts and international practitionersare able toshare the knowledge and best practices necessaryto confrontthe security threats posed by returning foreign fighters and ethnonationalist extremism. We invite you to follow the conversation on social media with #WBRF2019.
This survey was conducted on behalf of theCenterfor Insights in Survey Research. The data was collected between March 7 and 26, 2019 through in-home, in-person interviews. A total of 2,190 interviews were completed with an overall +/- 2.1percentmargin of error. The sampling approach adopted was a multi-stage stratification proportionate to population sample distribution with a random selection of households and respondents within each Primary Sampling Unit (PSU).
The survey is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.