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The Contextual Nature of Right-Wing Terrorism across Nations


Terrorism and Political ViolenceJournal abstract

Despite the growing threat of right-wing terrorism as a security concern in many countries, no empirical research has examined the variables that are associated with increases or decreases in right-wing terrorist incidents at a national level of aggregation. The present study examines the applicability of indicators informed by macro-level criminological theories related to immigration, economic conditions, and social demographic composition to the study of right-wing terrorism. A dataset of right-wing terrorist incidents in North America and Western Europe from 1990–2016 was created using secondary sources. Data on indicators related to socioeconomic conditions within countries were retrieved from the World Bank’s World Development Indicator database. The results show that indicators informed by criminological theory are less useful when the analyses are aggregated across countries, but provide more insight when examining relationships within individual countries. Future research should therefore take into consideration each country’s unique social, political, and economic contexts when studying terrorism at a national level.

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