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Mapping Transnational Extremist Networks: An Exploratory Study of the Soldiers of Odin’s Facebook Network, Using Integrated Social Network Analysis


perspectives-on-terrorism-10-5Journal abstract

This article argues that social network analyses of the online communications and structures of right-wing extremist groups can allow researchers to obtain otherwise hard-to-get insights into the ideology, rhetoric, and behaviour of groups. This is illustrated through a study of Facebook-based relations between members of the Soldiers of Odin in Canada, Finland, and Sweden in early 2017. The authors argue that these communications demonstrate the presence of close coordination between the Canadian and Finnish branches of the Soldiers of Odin, suggesting ideological conformity. The authors further demonstrate the presence of a pre-existing divide between the Québec and rest of Canada chapters of the Soldiers of Odin, which contributes to explaining the April-May 2017 schism of the movement. The authors conclude by advocating increased attention to online networks for the study of extremist groups.

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