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Violence and hate crime

Mapping and explaining patterns of extreme right violence and hate crime, including harassment, treats and hate speech.

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Image: Cato Hemmingby

Right-wing extremist violence

One of the defining characteristics of extremism in general and right-wing extremism in particular is that it justifies the use of violence – now or in the future.

Right-wing extremist movements tend to point out two main categories of enemies toward whom violence, threats and harassment may be justified: the external enemy (e.g. Jews, Islam/Muslims, Communism), and the internal enemy (e.g. national or racial “traitors”, political opponents, the Establishment, multiculturalists, or the mainstream media). Sometimes such ideas materializes into actual violent attacks but harassment, threats and hate speech is far more common.

Hate crime is a concept that has been included in the penal code in many countries but often using rather different definitions, making comparison difficult. Generally, it is understood as crimes motivated by hatred or negative opinions against certain categories of people.

Key questions

  • What is the distribution of right-wing extremist violence across countries and over time?
  • What is the modus operandi of contemporary perpetrators of right-wing extremist terrorism?
  • What restrains individuals and groups holding militant and hateful view from carrying out actual violence?
  • What is the impact and consequences of extremist violence, treats or hateful harassment on those targeted?

Right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe: the RTV dataset

The RTV dataset documents right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe since 1990. Each event has been coded on a range of variables, including time and location, perpetrator and victim characteristics, organizational affiliations, weapon types, and number of casualties.

Download the RTV Trend Report 2021 here.

Head of Research Group