Amarnath Amarasingam

Senior Fellow


Amarnath Amarasingam is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Fellow at The George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, and Co-Directs a study of Western foreign fighters based at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada (2015). His research interests are in radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction, and the sociology of religion.  He is the editor of Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War (2016), the author of several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has presented papers at over 100

national and international conferences, and has written for The New York Times, Politico, The Atlantic, Vice News, Foreign Affairs, and War on the Rocks.

Amarasingam is an experienced field researcher, having conducted hundreds of interviews for his PhD dissertation on social movement activism, organisational dynamics, and youth identity in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. He also conducted over 50 interviews with former fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) throughout the former war zones of Sri Lanka in 2013 and 2014.

He has also conducted field research in Somalia, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestine. For his project on Western foreign fighters, he has spoken with dozens of injured fighters, refugees, and activists of the Syrian revolution, and has conducted numerous social media and in-person interviews with jihadists currently fighting in Syria and Iraq and those closest to them.

Amarasingam is also Chair of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, which was created to engage Canadians and the Government of Canada in a long-term dialogue on matters related to national security.

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