Frontmatter, incl. Foreword and Table of Contents

Foreign Fighters under International Law and Beyond

February 2016 Editor: Prof Andrea de Guttry, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
Editor: Dr Francesca Capone, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Istituto DIRPOLIS, Pisa, Italy
Editor: Dr Christophe Paulussen, T.M.C. Asser Instituut, The Hague, The Netherlands



  • Published: February 2016
  • Pages: xxiii + 526 pp.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book offers various perspectives, with an international legal focus, on an important and underexplored topic, which has recently gained momentum: the issue of foreign fighters. It provides an overview of challenges, pays considerable attention to the status of foreign fighters, and addresses numerous approaches, both at the supranational and national level, on how to tackle this problem. Outstanding experts in the field – lawyers, historians and political scientists – contributed to the present volume, providing the reader with a multitude of views concerning this multifaceted phenomenon. Particular attention is paid to its implications in light of the armed conflicts currently taking place in Syria and Iraq.

Andrea de Guttry is a Full Professor of International Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy. Francesca Capone is a Research Fellow in Public International Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Christophe Paulussen is a Senior Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague, the Netherlands, and a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague.

Specific to this book:

  • A collection of contributions authored by outstanding experts in the field
  • Offers a broad and multidisciplinary perspective
  • Tackles the important and underexplored phenomenon of foreign fighters, which has currently gained momentum

With a Foreword by Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.

Excerpts from reviews of this book:

There is no doubt that all scholars approaching this topic in the future cannot refrain from taking into account this contribution which is likely to become the scientific cornerstone in the field.
- Loris Marotti, The Italian Yearbook of International Law Online, Volume 25: Issue 1, online publication date 18 October 2016,

The multidisciplinary perspective adopted is convincing and the book succeeds in addressing the needs of its target audience – namely scholars, policymakers and public at large – of deepening the understanding of the possible avenues to address an issue often framed only in counterterrorism terms.
The book is able to live up to its promise of providing an in-depth study of such a complex and evolving topic. […] The investigation of the existing legal framework is enriched with inputs from other disciplines, thus promoting a holistic and comprehensive approach to the topic.
- Venturi, D., & Venier, S. (2017). Foreign Fighters under International Law and Beyond, edited by Andrea de Guttry, Francesca Capone and Christophe Paulussen [TMC Asser Press, The Hague, 2016. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 66(2), 513-514. doi:10.1017/S0020589316000506

This edited volume of over 500 pages brings together 23 high-quality contributions from multiple disciplines: law, history, terrorism and security studies, political science and international relations, media and communications. Authors include scholars and practitioners, including contributors from civil society, European Union and UN bodies.
The volume offers a broad palette without ever being broadbrush. The contributions aim primarily to provide comprehensive applications of existing frameworks, predominantly counterterrorism frameworks, rather than attempt to investigate broader and contested underlying norms, concepts, values and assumptions about the foreign and private use of force by individuals. On the topic of foreign terrorist fighters, the contributions are not only timely and detailed, but provide a range of perspectives and approaches, which pragmatically analyse the application of law and policy, its limits and challenges.
- Marnie Lloydd (2017) Book review of Foreign Fighters under International Law and Beyond edited by Andrea de Guttry, Francesca Capone and Christophe Paulussen. In: Melbourne Journal of International Law, volume 18(1) – July 2017. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

In a book such as this, readers will – of course – find greater interest in some chapters rather than others: it could be the inclusion of material from a jurisdiction hitherto unknown to a particular reader, or a new angle of analysis, or a report of new empirical materials. To the book’s credit, the various chapters, which overlap but offer distinct contributions, contain plenty of such nuggets, alongside some excellent expositions of what is already known.
- Cian Murphy ‘Book Review: Foreign Fighters under International Law and Beyond, edited by Andrea de Guttry, Francesca Capone and Christophe Paulussen (T.M.C. Asser Press/Springer, The Hague/Heidelberg 2016). (2017) 54 Common Market Law Review, Issue 6, pp. 1915–1918.

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