Right-wing extremism: Engagement and disengagement, emergence and decline
Friday June 21, 09.00 - 10.30
Session 4, Auditorium 2, Eilert Sundt building
Chair: Katrine Fangen
- The Pathways Out of Far-Right Extremist Groups in the United States - Michael Jensen, Patrick James and Elizabeth Yates
- The emergence and decline of vigilantism against migrants and minorities - Tore Bjørgo
- Evaluating the Norwegian mentoring process for radical inmates - Franck Orban
The Pathways Out of Far-Right Extremist Groups in the United States
Michael A. Jensen, Patrick A. James, Elizabeth Yates, University of Maryland
Understanding how individuals disengage from extremist groups is vitally important to the success of CVE programs and efforts to reintegrate terrorist offenders into their local communities. Despite recent academic interest in extremist disengagement, little is known about how push and pull factors combine with barriers to exit to produce pathways out of extremism. For example, is disengagement different for individuals who confront the challenges associated with mental illness and trauma than they are for individuals who are deeply embedded in extremist networks due to family ties? Similarly, how does disengagement work when individuals are disillusioned with their respective extremist groups but have few life-course alternatives due to limited educational achievements or poor work histories? This paper uses life-history information from a sample of 50 far-right extremists in the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) database, including equal numbers of former and active extremists. Using two-step qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), we leverage our inclusion of “non-cases” to show how push/pull factors combine to produce disengagement pathways within the context of multiple barriers to exit. We also estimate how common these pathways are in the U.S. and address the implications for CVE and rehab and reintegration programs.
The emergence and decline of vigilantism against migrants and minorities
Tore Bjørgo, Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo
Under what kinds of circumstances do vigilante activities emerge, flourish or fail? What are the facilitating and impeding conditions? These issues are examined in an international comparative study with case studies of vigilante groups in 17 countries. Several conditions – especially when they appear in combination – create opportunities for vigilantism in general, and directed against migrant and minorities in particular. The presence and/or absence of some of the factors are more likely to produce certain types of vigilantism and not others. For example, countries with permissive gun laws and historical traditions of militias are likely to foster armed militia vigilantism. Where these conditions are absent and there is very limited or no acceptance for paramilitarism and vigilantism, non-violent street patrols are more likely to be the main form of vigilantism to appear. Vigilante groups and activities tend to emerge and flourish in settings when there is a convergence of several facilitating conditions and an absence of impeding or repressive factors. They fail and decline when the facilitating conditions are reduced and repressive measured are implemented against them.
Evaluating the Norwegian mentoring process for radical inmates - Franck Orban
Franck Orban, Østfold University College
The Norwegian government launched in June 2014 an action plan against radicalization and violent extremism. As a part of it, Norwegian correctional authorities were asked to create a mentoring program for inmates who were identified as being vulnerable to radicalization or recruitment to violent extremism. Following a planning phase between autumn 2014 and 2015, the program started early in 2016 and went through a first evaluation phase up to the end of 2018. We present here some results from this evaluation published in February 2019. The report is based on direct access to internal documents from the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service and interviews with inmates participating to the program, their mentors and prison staffers working with inmates. The report raises the question of how the mentoring program has been perceived by all three groups (prison system, mentors, mentees) and how it impacted on them.