Ultra-Right Terrorism in the West in the 21st Century: Trends and Features

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-12-5-14
A. Yashlavskii (dosier@mail.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. An alarming trend observed in the 2010s was the growth of ultra-right terrorism in Western countries. Being a highly heterogeneous phenomenon, extreme right-wing extremism is fueled by crises of the socio-economic and spiritual order in Western societies. A feature of the development of this phenomenon in the last decade is the assertion by supporters of ultra-right extremist ideas about themselves as a “shield” protecting the West not only from the “invasion” of alien migrants, but also from the danger of Islamist terrorism. The reorientation of right-wing extremists towards “anti-jihadism” can be partly explained by the desire to arrange a “restyling” of the ultra-right movements in order to give them not only the appearance of greater moderation, but also in a sense to legitimize their attitudes as a force opposing Islamist terrorists. However, an analysis of the theory and practice of extreme right-wing terrorists demonstrates similarities with terrorism of the “jihadist” kind in many respects. Militant Islamists and far-right extremists alike deny tolerance, rely on violence, spread hatred and mistrust. Both those and other terrorists use a similar “hate speech”. In a sense, “jihadists” and ultra-right extremists are necessary for each other, because each side finds a different explanation and justification for its own crimes in actions. The crisis phenomena generated by the global pandemic of a new type of coronavirus in 2020 not only contributed to the activation of propaganda by supporters of ultra-right ideas, but created objective conditions for these ideas to resonate with some Westerners. Accordingly, this poses a severe threat of both expanding the social base of ultra-right movements and the implementation of new acts of violence.

Keywords: extremism, terrorism, far-right, right-wing radicalism, right-wing extremism, far-right terrorism, hate crimes, Islamism, jihadism, pandemic, coronavirus


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For citation:
Yashlavskii A. Ultra-Right Terrorism in the West in the 21st Century: Trends and Features. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 5-14. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-12-5-14

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