Extremists, such as far-right nationalists, ISIS, and QAnon conspiracy theorists, are often considered to hold irrational beliefs. By drawing on recent, but underexplored ideas from academic philosophy, Finlay Malcolm will identify three ways by which extremist beliefs might be irrational and suggests how some of these ideas might be useful for research and policy on deradicalisation.
It’s a male, male world: rise and fall of ‘the Male State,’ a far-right misogynistic organization in Russia
The Russian far-right activist Vladislav Pozdnyakov is largely seen as a marginal character by far-right scholars. However, Elizaveta Gaufman argues that Pozdnyakov and his now banned organization “the Male State” need to be examined more closely as they represent yet another example of a global misogyny trend on par with the incel movement.
Liberal democracy is not dead
Liberal democracy is under pressure, and illiberalism remains a threat across the globe. Cas Mudde argues that key events in 2021 should be a wake-up call to those who think illiberalism is the inevitable future, and emphasizes the crucial need for consistent, genuine, and inspiring liberal democratic politics.
The Polish Independence March 2021 – nationalized nationalism
The Independence March passed through Warsaw once again. This time, no flat was burnt, no shops were vandalized, no squat or embassy attacked, and no freshly planted trees were torn out. According to Przemyslaw Witkowski, this is a worrying development, as it signals that nationalists are gaining political power in Poland and beyond.
Political myths and the making of fascism
In a recently published book, Nathaniël Kunkeler compares the political cultures of the Swedish National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nationalsocialistiska Arbetarepartiet, NSAP) and the Dutch National Socialist Movement (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging, NSB). Central to the analysis is the construction of political myths: myth-making or mythopoeia of the largest fascist parties in these countries, neither of which ever came close to seizing power in the 1930s.
Transformation of the Far Right: What can protest event analysis tell us?
The far right today is a global and diverse phenomenon, that encompasses a wide range of different actors and organizations. Tamta Gelashvili argues that scholarship on the far right would benefit from the use of Protest Event Analysis (PEA) to analyze and compare far-right mobilization across cultural contexts and over time.
From grassroots to government: far-right threats to academic freedom
In recent years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, far right forces have increased efforts to systematically undermine the principles of academic freedom. Léonie de Jonge, Iris Beau Segers and Cathrine Thorleifsson highlight the urgency of defending academic freedom against governmental interference and protecting researchers from threats and intimidation.
Lega East? A close look at AfD’s electoral strength in eastern Germany
The electoral showing of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, Alternative for Germany) at past Sunday’s general election in Germany highlights once again that it is essential to scrutinize the party’s strength in eastern Germany, writes C-REX Postdoctoral Fellow Manès Weisskircher.
An effective ban on foreign fighting? Wider implications of the Czech policy towards foreign (terrorist) fighters
“Foreign terrorist fighters” (FTFs) are commonly understood as being synonymous with jihadists. But what if we were to be faced with a foreign terrorist fighter, who is not a jihadi and is hardly ideologically motivated at all? C-REX Postdoctoral Fellow Kacper Rekawek discusses the recent conviction of three Czech foreign fighters involved in the conflict in Ukraine, who fall into that category. Their cases differ substantially from their jihadi counterparts and offer a fascinating insight into how different Western states approach the issue of their citizens or inhabitants deploying to foreign wars.
On the JC2-2 cruise we are visiting the deep basins of the Arctic Ocean. The goal of my team is to conduct experiments with animals from the bottom of those basins, which means keeping deep, Arctic animals alive. If deep-sea diving is an extreme sport, then this is definitely extreme science.
Stable trends in unstable times: Right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe in 2020
Right-wing terrorism and violence in Western Europe in 2020 was not significantly influenced by COVID-19 nor by the activism of the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead, the RTV report recently published by C-REX shows that 2020 represents a continuation of previous trends.
The Arctic Ocean blender system
The Arctic Ocean is composed of different layers organized on the vertical, and these layers have different temperature and salinity properties. A cold and fresh surface layer caps a warm and salty layer of Atlantic Water. The heat contained at depth (about 300m) in the warm and salty Atlantic Water could melt the entire Arctic sea ice cover if it reached the surface. It does not happen because the cold surface layer caps this Atlantic layer quite well and keeps it at depth. However, in some regions, such as north of Svalbard, sea ice melts in summer even though it is -30 outside. How is that possible?
The Central Arctic Ocean: No longer the once forgotten no man’s land
Large trawlers are pulling tons of fish out of the deep Central Arctic Ocean. Our cell phones are powered with rare earth elements from the seafloor underneath the North Pole. The ice-free Arctic allows much shorter delivery time of shipped goods from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Coast guard ships dot the vast Arctic coastline and fleets of submarines survey the chilly waters. Will these scenarios soon be a reality? To some extent some of them already are.
On the ideological and cultural diversity of current antisemitism
In May this year, the latest round of hostilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict set in motion a wave of antisemitic attacks targeting Jews in Europe and the US. A closer look at these incidents demonstrates the ideological and cultural diversity of current Jew-hatred. In order to understand this diversity, a broader historical perspective is helpful.
Cracks in the cooking pot lid
The point of putting a lid on a cooking pot is to prevent the transfer of heat and moisture between the boiling contents and the air above. When you remove the lid from a boiling pot, heat and water vapour flow upward into the air, along with chemical compounds filling your kitchen with the (hopefully) promising smells of an upcoming meal.
Into the deep unknown central Arctic Basin
Our scientific crew of 35 people for the Nansen Legacy cruise JC2-2-Arctic Basin will spend five weeks onboard the Norwegian icebreaker and research vessel Kronprins Haakon, with departure on Thursday 24th August 2021. Cruise leaders are Agneta Fransson (NPI) and Bodil Bluhm (UiT).
A handful of suitcases teach us how waves and sea ice interact, and improve weather and climate models
Waves marching through the sea ice is an amazing view. It is as if a white, snow-covered landscape suddenly starts gently undulating, the solid ground dancing rhythmically. The waves’ wildness from the open sea is tamed and dampened by the ice. Yet, the waves’ energy can break solid sea ice, greatly affecting sea ice drift, formation and melt. Hence, waves in ice are an important - yet not well understood - factor in the arctic physical environment.
First experience onboard the RV "Helmer Hanssen"
For the first time in my life I am going to experience Phytoplankton blooming in Arctic. The vessel is soon ready to take us on board, and we are currently sitting in isolation at beautiful Sommarøy. My thoughts now are on the journey. How will it be?
Where the Atlantic heat meets the Arctic cold
The ocean is not as endless as we often think it is. It is actually divided into different domains and regions, ranging from the freezing cold polar waters to the hot tropical regions. Within each of the domains, species have evolved to deal with the challenging conditions within their home domain.
Mixing production deep into the ocean
Imagine yourself lying on your back in a forest on a sunny spring day watching upwards to the tree tops. Warm rays of sunlight falling through the canopy warm your face and the song of birds echo in the distance. Now imagine all the tree trunks, branches and twigs are gone and just leaves floating lofty above you.
Kinder, Kirche and Küche - Gender and family rhetoric of the German far right
Far right actors often rely heavily on traditional narratives about gender and family, whilst simultaneously weaponizing women’s rights and gender equality in pursuit of an anti-immigration and anti-Islam political agenda. In a recently published article, Katrine Fangen and Lisanne Lichtenberg explore this tension within the rhetoric of various German far right organizations.
The lonely Algae
From the last time we collected water, I took a drop to check under a microscope, to get an insight into what is hiding. But no, no universe here. Nothing that swam, floated or hovered. No signs of spring bloom. But then, suddenly, in one corner of this drop I found something. A solitary microalgae, alone in this vast drop universe.
Everything has to have somewhere to live
Here on RV “Kronprins Haakon” in the northern Barents Sea we are our own tiny world, living and working together in a bubble almost completely remote from our regular world. In our microcosm we are reminded that we all have to have some place to live, and to also understand how it works, so that the system we live in functions well.
The Dutch election: Far right side characters in the ‘Mark Rutte show’
The Dutch parliamentary elections took place last week, after a tumultuous period of anti-lockdown protests, and the fall of the Dutch government in January, over a welfare fraud scandal rife with ethnic profiling. RightNow! Editor Iris Beau Segers interviews Professor Cas Mudde about the most striking outcomes of the election, and what this might mean for the radical right and the state of liberal democracy in the Netherlands.
Tiny Arctic wildlife matters
Hello from another fine day from the largest research vessel in Norway - Kronprins Haakon. After having a delicious pizza lunch on board today, I came up to the 7th deck (yes that’s right, this boat has 10 decks), to write this blog in the conference room – a nice, cozy room with a great view. How is a girl from the south of India where winter is 20 degrees, surviving up here in the Arctic, you ask?
Growing concern inside French academia due to controversy about “Islamo-leftism”
French academia is currently under scrutiny after the Minister of Research and Higher Education validated the theory of a growing “Islamo-leftism” within social science research. Studies on race and gender have become contentious, and met in the public debate with accusations of fostering identity politics. Recently, a group of academics tried to delegitimize the work of Nonna Mayer, a respected scholar in the field of far right politics.
‘The new normal’? Radical right resistance to the Dutch curfew
Over the last few weeks, the Dutch radical right has used curfew controversy to portray the government as a danger to the freedom of the average citizen. C-REX scholar Iris Beau Segers asks if the liberal-conservative VVD party might have themselves to blame, and argues that their ‘doctrine of normalcy’ has mainstreamed radical right ideas that now pose a challenge to the government’s covid-19 measures.
Winter darkness: Revealing the secrets of the sea
On 9 February, R/V Kronprins Haakon departs on a winter process cruise to the Barents Sea to track and measure important processes taking place in the ocean during wintertime. This cruise is led by UNIS professor Frank Nilsen and part of the Nansen Legacy project – Norway’s biggest research project to date.
The Georgian far right failed its electoral debut. But its season may not be over
Taken together, the emerging groups of the Georgian far right obtained less than 5 per cent in the October 2020 elections to the national Parliament. But limited electoral success does not mean that the far-right has limited political power, in Georgia and elsewhere in the world.
The Storm and the Web: Communication Technology and the Ecumenical Far Right
As seen on January 6th, 2021, once disparate tendencies within the radical right are mixing and collaborating as never before. The very core technological features of the internet and world wide web have played a crucial role in this process of integration.
Violent extremism is not a uniform phenomenon: The key differences in prevention of left-wing, right-wing, and Islamist extremism
Policies to prevent radicalization and violent extremism frequently target militant Islamists, right-wing and left-wing extremists. In a recent study we have examined what distinguishes the ways in which local practitioners perceive and respond to each of the milieus. Our results show that there is a clear discrepancy between the uniform way violent extremism is presented in policy, and how front line practitioners experience the different forms of extremism at the local level.
Do White Supremacist Women Adopt Movement Archetypes of Mother, Whore, and Fighter?
White women have long been part of white supremacist movements in the U.S. and elsewhere. That continues today. But what place do they occupy in deeply misogynist movements that force white women into idealized categories of white mother, sexual partner, or racial fighter?
What type of food will you need when you get sick or old?
Imagine that you have difficulty chewing your food because you have poor chewing and swallowing functions – this is the situation for many elderly and sick people. A personalised fish soup that has a high protein content is a good solution to this problem. It tastes great, is nutritious, requires little chewing and is easy to swallow.
What is Happening to the Dutch Far Right? From Wilders to Baudet… and Back To Wilders Again
This week the Dutch Forum for Democracy (FvD) experienced yet another scandal, but this time the infighting did not favor Thierry Baudet. And so, four years after founding the party, and less than half a year before the next Dutch parliamentary election, Baudet has resigned as party leader, and withdrawn from the top spot on the electoral list, and we can all refocus our attention on the real leader of the Dutch far right, Geert Wilders.
Golden Dawn guilty verdict is a victory for Greek democracy. But will it solve the country’s deep political divides?
While the Golden Dawn verdict is a positive step for Greek democracy, it is still important to understand why circa 500,000 Greek citizens voted this criminal organization in the parliament, despite the fact that its violence was well known.
The case against the Nordic Resistance Movement in Finland: an overview and some explanations
The Supreme Court of Finland issued a ban on the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement in September of 2020. The historical decision follows a case that has been ongoing for several years and has already seen the Finnish right-wing extremist scene change in different ways.
Dying for the Cause? Not really. The Far-Right has its own take on “martyrdom”.
Suicide attacks are virtually absent in far-right terrorism. A recent study of the subcultural, strategic, and historic references to martyrdom, self-sacrifice, and suicide in the contemporary far right shows the potential reasons for this, highlighting the peculiar political mythology of “martyrdom” that characterizes this extremist environment.