Denmark and France: A Counterterrorism Case Study, Counterterrorism Strategies and the Infringement of Returning Foreign Fighters’ Human Rights


Author/Creator ORCID




Center for People, Politics, & Markets: International Relations


Bachelor's Degree

Citation of Original Publication


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Through a comparison of two case studies – Denmark and France – this paper seeks to analyze counterterrorism strategies for returning foreign fighters and the extent the strategies infringe on their human rights. The analysis will be conducted through examining the specific policies, legislation, and programs of Denmark and France regarding counterterrorism strategies. Two theories – the expanded criminal justice model (ECJM) and the critical terrorism studies (CTS) model – will be used to analyze these documents and programs and the extent to which human rights are infringed upon. Denmark and France were chosen as case studies to compare due to both having an increase in severity of terrorist attacks beginning in 2015 and continuing to the present in 2019. Furthermore, they are relatively similar in terms of the legislation and policies they have implemented. However, two points of divergence are evident. Firstly, Denmark has established robust exit and reintegration programs for foreign fighters returning home. Secondly, religious and cultural differences are acknowledged in the Danish programs, which, due to secularism, are aspects that are disregarded in France’s counterterrorism strategies. These two variables will be analyzed to see if they account for a divergent outcome – a difference in the degree of infringement on human rights for returning foreign fighters in Denmark and France.