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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter, on contemporary radical right violence in Western Europe and North America, begins with a definitional question: what do we mean by “radical right” or “radical right populism”? Relying on the work of Cas Mudde and others, the stress is on nationalism, exclusionism (certain groups are not considered part of the national community), elitism, and monism (the idea that political questions have only one correct answer). The chapter then seeks to understand the conditions that give rise to radical right violence, relying on the work of Ehud Sprinzak and others. The stress is on particularistic violence and its use against minority groups seeking to assert claims to improved status in society. Vigilantism, employing violence outside the law in order to exert social control over the minority, is a common attribute. Finally, the chapter reviews the major forms of radical right violence, emphasizing “lone wolf” attacks and ethnic riots.

Keywords: radical right violence, Western Europe, North America, populism, nationalism, elitism, exclusionism, monism, vigilantism, lone wolf attacks

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