Right Wing Terrorism and Violence in Western Europe, 1990 - 2018
RTV Trend Report 2019 (pdf)
Jacob Aasland Ravndal, Sofia Lygren, Lars Wibe Hagen and Anders Ravik Jupskås
The Right-Wing Terrorism and Violence (RTV) dataset was built following the 22 July 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway and the discovery of the German terrorist cell Nationalsozialistischer Underground the same year. These events uncovered a gap in our knowledge about recent trends in right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe. Some existing datasets developed by scholars, such as the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and Terrorism in Western Europe: Events Data (TWEED), do cover right-wing terrorist events. Similarly, some hate crime statistics and reports from anti-racist organizations also cover right-wing violence. However, existing data collected by scholars and organizations commonly suffer from one or several methodological pitfalls, including problems of availability, representativeness, measurement validity, replicability, and comparability.
To narrow the existing knowledge gap, as well as address some of the methodological limitations of other datasets, the RTV dataset offers a systematic assessment of the most severe forms of violent attacks and plots in 18 West European countries since 1990 whose target selection is based on right-wing beliefs.
By ‘most severe forms of violent attacks and plots’, we mean cases in which the perpetrator(s) appear determined or willing to inflict deadly or severely disabling physical injury on the victim(s), as opposed to lesser forms of violence of a more symbolic or demonstrative nature. More specifically, the dataset includes (1) all events with fatal or near fatal outcomes; (2) events in which potentially lethal weapons have been used offensively, such as knives, guns, or bombs; (3) severe beatings leading to hospitalisation, coma, unconsciousness, or other severe injuries; (4) terrorist attack plots; and (5) discoveries of large weapons caches belonging to right-wing extremists.