New Snapshot: The Blind Eye Turned to the Far-right

January 22nd 2020 - 12:00
The Blind Eye turned to the Far Right

New snapshot out now! To read, click here.

The number of terrorist attacks from the far-right spectrum has increased considerably in the US and Europe over the last decade. Even though awareness on this phenomenon is now gradually rising, scholars, policy makers and security forces have long focused predominantly - and perhaps disproportionately - on Islamist terrorism. This negligence towards other types of terrorist threat is now proving to have vital consequences and obstacles in adequately addressing the current threat stemming from the far-right.

This snapshot by assistant analyst Tara Görder examines these consequences and obstacles by outlining the US’ and Europe’s bias in framing the issue of terrorism in diverging ways, securitizing one (Islamist terrorism) but neglecting the other (far-right terrorism). Legislative differences amongst both types and ambiguous definitions complicate the process of designating terrorism for what it is, conflating far-right terrorism with petty or hate crimes and thereby diminishing their gravity for the public perception. Likewise, prosecution and conviction rates relating to Islamist terrorism are proportionally shown to be much higher than for far-right terrorism.

Weighing the little attention it receives against the current pace at which far-right terrorism is rising, underpins how both the US and Europe seem to lack effective and adequate (legal) tools for holding perpetrators from the far-right (as well as potentially arising terrorist groups/ideologies in the future) accountable.

Download the snapshot by Tara Görder in PDF format here

Esther Chavannes is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS, primarily focusing on topics where security, politics and law intersect. Most recently she conducted research into the ethical challenges of using Robotic and Autonomous Systems in a military context. Apart from emerging technologies in the Defense sector, she works on security challenges in Southeast Asia, regulatory frameworks of civil technology in the EU, and right-wing political violence in the digital age.