Jihadism and Far-Right Extremism: Shared Attributes With Regard to Violence Spectacularisation

This article argues that similarities between jihadism and far-right radicalism are increasing, particularly with regard to the spectacularisation of violence. Spectacularisation means representing and performing violence in the form of a show, for instance through live-streaming, with a renewed emphasis on captivating symbols and much less attention paid to the ideological foundations on which the radical project is supposed to rely. After the March 2019 shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, the spectacularisation of racist, anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic violence increased, thus consolidating that event as a turning point in the evolution of the contemporary far right and the history of jihadism—which has far-right affinities. Lured by the performance of violence, the number of contemporary far-right sympathisers is steadily growing in a virtual environment that closely resembles that of jihadists, where patterns and mechanisms of online recruitment and grooming are proliferating.

Read the full article of the June 2020 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.