Ethnicity and Politics in Contextualising Far Right and Islamist Extremism

Tahir Abbas


This article critically reviews contemporary understandings of the drivers, objectives, and the social and political distinctions of far right and Islamist extremism as reciprocal and correlative threats. While social structure and identity politics are important themes in the social science literature on the radicalisation of far right and Islamist extremist individuals and groups, there remain significant knowledge and policy gaps. Based on a discourse analysis of two related concepts, this article seeks to explain the nature of similarities and differences. As exclusivist and self-reinforcing narratives, the actions and perspectives of one group embolden the other. Policymakers need to understand far right and Islamist extremism as phenomena with shared local driving forces and impacts. This approach would also avoid duplication of effort, as well as misrecognition and insensitivity, in counterterrorism efforts. It also generates valuable political inroads into grounded notions of social cohesion.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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