Security, identity, and the discourse of conflation in far-right violence

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In the aftermath of Anders Breivik’s shooting spree and bombing in Norway, many people asked where did the anger and the violence come from? The article examines the contemporary trends in political and social discourses to conflate opponents with enemies. Popular discourses, television and on-line media, radio talk shows and even newspaper spread the language of threat and insecurity, and the idea that the biggest threats may be the people in our own neighbourhoods, in our own cities, on our own streets. These threatening individuals are those that do not quite fit in; they are familiar foreigners. Similarly it explores the discourses of who should be afforded trust and protection within multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural political and social environments, who exhibits social membership and who should be excluded. The language of austerity and shortage suggests that security is not a human right that all people are entitled to equally. Rather if states can only afford to protect certain people, then by default the state chooses to actively not protect others. This article explores the social and physical consequences these decisions have, particularly when certain individuals decide that they will do what others only talk about: eliminate enemies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Terrorism Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2011


  • Far-right
  • Identity


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