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On the Permissibility of Homicidal Violence: Perspectives from Former U.S. White Supremacists

IdeologiesPathways to radicalisation

Journal abstractperspectives-on-terrorism

Drawing upon in-depth life-history interviews with 91 North American-based former white supremacists, we examine how participants perceive homicidal violence as either an appropriate or inappropriate political strategy. Based on the current findings, participants considered homicidal violence as largely inappropriate due to moral concerns and its politically ineffective nature but also discussed how homicidal violence could be an appropriate defensive measure in RAHOWA (Racial Holy War) or through divine mandate. Capturing how white supremacists frame the permissibility of homicidal violence is a step toward better understanding the “upper limit” or thresholds for violence among members who are trying to construct and negotiate a collective identity that involves violent and aggressive worldviews

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