Right-Wing Terrorism and Violence in Western Europe: Introducing the RTV Dataset
By Jacob Aasland Ravndal
What is the record of right-wing terrorism and violence (RTV) in Western Europe post-1990?
To date, RTV incident data suitable for temporal and cross-national comparisons have been lacking. Consequently, few comparative studies of RTV exist, and we generally have limited knowledge about the most recent evolution of RTV in Western Europe.
To help fill these gaps, this article introduces a new dataset covering RTV incidents in Western Europe between 1990 and 2015. Including the most severe types of incidents only, the dataset comprises 578 incidents, including 190 deadly incidents causing 303 deaths. Each incident has been manually researched by the same person and coded on a range of variables, including time and location, perpetrator and victim characteristics, organizational affiliations, weapon types, and number of casualties.
The article also proposes six hypotheses aiming to explain the perhaps most puzzling finding emerging from the RTV dataset: that the number of deadly incidents has declined considerably under conditions commonly assumed to stimulate RTV. These conditions include increased immigration, enhanced support to radical right parties, Islamist terrorism, and booming youth unemployment rates.
The article is published in Perspectives on Terrorism, vol10, no 3, 2016