Thugs or Terrorists? A Typology of Right-Wing Terrorism and Violence in Western Europe

Jacob Aasland Ravndal

Abstract


Despite Western Europe’s extensive history of right-wing terrorism, a systematic categorization of key actors and events is lacking. This article aims to narrow this gap by proposing the first empirically derived typology of right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe. The article begins by introducing a method for reviewing and developing typologies, informed by relevant social science literature. This method is first used to review Ehud Sprinzak’s seminal typology of right-wing terrorism. While Sprinzak merits recognition for having developed the only universal typology in the field, the review shows that his typology does not satisfy established criteria for typology building. Combining quantitative and qualitative post-WWII data, a new typology is therefore proposed, based on attack frequencies and differences in perpetrators’ strategy and organization. This new typology facilitates sharper distinctions, both between different types of perpetrators and between different forms of violence.

 


Full Text:

PDF

References


Aristotle. (ND). Book 4, chapter 4-5. In Politics.

Backes, U., & Moreau, P. (2012). The extreme right in Europe current trend and perspective. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Bailey, K. D. (1994). Typologies and taxonomies: an introduction to classification techniques. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.

Beam, L. (1992). Leaderless Resistance. The Seditionist, (12). Retrieved from http://www.louisbeam.com/leaderless.htm

Bjørgo, T. (Ed.). (1995). Terror from the extreme right. London: Frank Cass.

Bjørgo, T. (1997). Racist and right-wing violence in Scandinavia: patterns, perpetrators, and responses. Oslo: Tano Aschehoug.

Bjørgo, T., & Witte, R. (Eds.). (1993). Racist violence in Europe. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.

Bobbio, N., & Cameron, A. (1996). Left and right: the significance of a political distinction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bocca, G. (1968). The Secret Army. Prentice-Hall.

Bounds, A., & Boxell, J. (2009, July 3). UK police probe race gangs’ arms supply. Financial Times. Retrieved from www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9ad713fa-676a-11de-925f-00144feabdc0.html

Bowie, N. G., & Schmid, A. P. (2011). Databases on Terrorism. In The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research (pp. 294–340). New York: Routledge.

Buchard, R. (1963). Organisation armée secrète: 15 décembre 1961-10 juillet 1962. Paris : A. Michel.

Caiani, M., Porta, D. della, & Wagemann, C. (2012). Mobilizing on the Extreme Right: Germany, Italy, and the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cento Bull, A. (2007). Italian neofascism: the strategy of tension and the politics of nonreconciliation. New York: Berghahn Books.

Collier, D., LaPorte, J., & Seawright, J. (2012). Putting Typologies to Work: Concept Formation, Measurement, and Analytic Rigor. Political Research Quarterly, 65(1), 217–232.

Collins, M. (2012). Hate: my life in the British far right. London: Biteback.

Corner, E., & Gill, P. (2014). A False Dichotomy? Mental Illness and Lone-Actor Terrorism. Law and Human Behavior, Advance online publication.

Della Porta, D. (2013). Clandestine Political Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Deloughery, K., King, R. D., & Asal, V. (2012). Close Cousins or Distant Relatives? The Relationship Between Terrorism and Hate Crime. Crime & Delinquency, 58(5)

Doty, H. D., & Glick, W. H. (1994). Typologies as a unique form of theory building: Toward improved understanding and modeling. Academy of Management Review, 19(2), 230–251.

Elman, C. (2005). Explanatory Typologies in Qualitative Studies of International Politics. International Organization, 59(02), 293–326.

El Temps. (2008, May 20). “Operació Panzer”: armas del exèrcit espanyol a mans de l’extrema dreta. El Temps, 19–29.

Engene, J. O. (2004). Terrorism in Western Europe: explaining the trends since 1950. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Engene, J. O. (2007). Five Decades of Terrorism in Europe: The TWEED Dataset. Journal of Peace Research, 44(1), 109–121.

Ferraresi, F. (1996). Threats to Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Fromm, R. (1998). Die “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann”: Darstellung, Analyse und Einordnung : ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des deutschen und europäischen Rechtsextremismus. Berlin: Peter Lang.

Ganor, B. (2008). Terrorist Organization Typologies and the Probability of a Boomerang Effect. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 31(4), 269–283.

George, A. L., & Bennett, A. (2005). Integrating Comparative and Within-Case Analysis: Typological Theory. In Case studies and theory development in the social sciences (pp. 233–262). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Gill, P., Horgan, J., & Deckert, P. (2014). Bombing Alone: Tracing the Motivations and Antecedent Behaviors of Lone-Actor Terrorists. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 59(2), 425–435.

Griffin, R. (2003). From slime mould to rhizome: an introduction to the groupuscular right. Patterns of Prejudice, 37(1), 27–50.

Hamm, M. S. (1993). American skinheads: the criminology and control of hate crime. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

Harrison, A. (1989). Challenging De Gaulle: the O.A.S. and the counterrevolution in Algeria, 1954-1962. New York: Praeger.

Heitmeyer, W. (2003). Right-Wing Extremist Violence. In J. Hagan & W. Heitmeyer (Eds.), The International handbook on violence research (pp. 399–436). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Heitmeyer, W. (2005). Right-wing terrorism. In Tore Bjørgo (Ed.), Root Causes of Terrorism (pp. 141–153). London and New York: Routledge.

Henissart, P. (1971). Wolves in the city: the death of French Algeria. London: Hart-Davis.

Hoffman, B. (1982). Right wing terrorism in Europe. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.

Hoffman, B. (2006). Inside terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Jackson, P. (2014). #hitlerwasright: National Action and National Socialism for the 21st Century. Journal for Deradicalization, 1(1), 97–115.

Jackson, P., & Shekhovtsov, A. (Eds.). (2014). The Post-War Anglo-American Far Right. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Pivot UK.

Kaplan, J. (1995). Right wing violence in North America. Terrorism and Political Violence, 7(1), 44–95.

Kaplan, J., & Bjørgo, T. (Eds.). (1998). Nation and race: the developing Euro-American racist subculture. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Kaplan, J., Lööw, H., & Malkki, L. (2014). Introduction to the Special Issue on Lone Wolf and Autonomous Cell Terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(1), 1–12.

Kaplan, J., & Weinberg, L. (1998). The emergence of a Euro-American radical right. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Köhler, D. (2014a). German Right-Wing Terrorism in Historical Perspective. A First Quantitative Overview of the “Database on Terrorism in Germany (Right-Wing Extremism)” – DTGrwx’ Project. Perspectives on Terrorism, 8(5).

Köhler, D. (2014b). The German ’National Socialist Underground (NSU) and Anglo-American Networks: The Internationalisation of Far-Right Terror. In P. Jackson & A. Shekhovtsov (Eds.), The Post-War Anglo-American Far Right. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Koopmans, R. (1996). Explaining the rise of racist and extreme right violence in Western Europe: Grievances or opportunities? European Journal of Political Research, 30(2), 185–216.

Laryš, M., & Mareš, M. (2011). Right-Wing Extremist Violence in the Russian Federation. Europe-Asia Studies, 63(1), 129–154.

Laurent, F., & Sutton, N. (1978). L’Orchetre noir: Enquête sur les réseaux néo-fascistes. Paris: Stock.

Lijphart, A. (1968). Typologies of Democratic Systems. Comparative Political Studies, 1(1), 3–44.

Lowles, N. (2001). White riot: the violent rise and fall of Combat 18. London: Milo.

Marsden, S. V. (2014). A Social Movement Theory Typology of Militant Organisations: Contextualising Terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, [Online first] doi: 10.1080/09546553.2014.954039.

Marsden, S. V., & Schmid, A. P. (2011). Typologies of Terrorism and Political Violence. In A. P. Schmid (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research (pp. 158–200). New York: Routledge.

McKinney, J. C. (1966). Constructive Typology and Social Theory. New York: Appelton-Century-Crofts.

Merkl, P. H., & Weinberg, L. (1997). The Revival of right-wing extremism in the nineties. London: Frank Cass.

Mudde, C. (1995). Right-wing extremism analyzed. A comparative analysis of the ideologies of three alleged right-wing extremist parties (NPD, NDP, CP’86). European Journal of Political Research, 27(2), 203–224.

Paterson, T. (2015, February 4). Oktoberfest bomb inquiry: Severed hand may prove 1980 attack was carried out by neo-Nazis and not a lone wolf. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/oktoberfest-bomb-inquiry-severed-hand-may-prove-1980-attack-was-carried-out-by-neonazis-and-not-a-lone-wolf-10024250.html

Pedahzur, A. (2001). Struggling with the Challenges of Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism within Democratic Boundaries: A Comparative Analysis. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 24(5), 339–359.

Perliger, A. (2012). Challengers from the Sidelines. West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved from https://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ChallengersFromtheSidelines.pdf

Ryan, N. (2011). Homeland: Into a World of Hate. Edinburgh: Mainstream

Salas, A. (2003). Diario de Un Skin: Un Topo En El Movimiento Neonazi Espanol. Madrid: Temas de Hoy.

Schmid, A. P. (2011). The Definition of Terrorism. In The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research. New York: Routledge.

Schmidt, M. (1993). The new Reich: violent extremism in unified Germany and beyond. New York: Pantheon Books.

Schultz, R. (1978). Conceptualizing Political Terrorism: A Typology. Journal of International Affairs, 32(1), 7.

Shapiro, J., & Suzan, B. (2003). The French Experience of Counter-terrorism. Survival, 45(1), 67–98.

Spaaij, R. (2012). Understanding lone wolf terrorism: global patterns, motivations and prevention. Dordrecht: Springer.

Sprinzak, E. (1991). The process of delegitimation: Towards a linkage theory of political terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 3(1), 50–68.

Sprinzak, E. (1995). Right-Wing Terrorism in a Comparative Perspective: The Case of Split Delegitimization. Terrorism and Political Violence, 7(1), 17–43.

Taylor, M., Holbrook, D., & Currie, P. M. (2013). Extreme right-wing political violence and terrorism. London: Bloomsbury.

The Vienna Review. (2013, December 13). Neo-Nazis convicted. The Vienna Review. Retrieved from http://www.viennareview.net/news/news-briefs/austria-news-briefs/neo-nazis-convicted

Virchow, F. (2004). The groupuscularization of neo-Nazism in Germany: the case of the Aktionsbüro Norddeutschland. Patterns of Prejudice, 38(1), 56–70.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2015 Jacob Aasland Ravndal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 2363-9849 

Proud Member of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and indexed by SCOPUS.