Liberal Roots of Far Right Activism: The Anti-Islamic Movement in the 21st Century

This book by C-REX scholar Lars Erik Berntzen, explores the anti-Islamic turn and expansion of the far right in Western Europe, North America and beyond from 2001 and onwards.

Driven by terror attacks and other moral shocks, the anti-Islamic cause has undergone four waves of transnational expansion in the period since 2001. The leaders and intellectuals involved have varied backgrounds, many coming from the left, uniting historically opposed sets of values under their banner of a civilizational struggle against Islam. The findings presented in this book indicate that anti-Islamic initiatives in Western Europe and the United States form a transnational movement and subculture characterized by fragile balance between liberal and authoritarian values. The author draws on a broad array of data sources and methods, including network analysis and sentiment analysis, to analyze the impact of the anti-Islamic expansion and turn at a macro level, and the theoretical implications for our understanding of the current far right flowing from this. Offering an overview of anti-Islamic activism, the book explores the background of their leaders and ideologues, provides an in-depth look at their ideology, online organizational networks, and the views expressed by their online members as well as which emotions and messages continue to drive their mobilization.

The book will be of interest to scholars in the social movement field as well as political scientists, sociologists, and general readers interested in issues such as populism, extremism and understanding the ways in which the contemporary far right challenges liberal democracies.

Published July 1, 2019 10:20 AM - Last modified July 1, 2019 10:20 AM