Racist and Right-Wing Violence in Scandinavia

Bjørgo, Tore:

Why do some individuals and groups carry out acts of violence against "foreigners" and people associated with them? How is their violent behaviour affected by responses from their social surroundings? What motivates young people to join racist groups - and why do most of them eventually leave?

In providing some of the answers to these questions, this study describes the patterns of racist and right-wing violence, the characteristics of the perpetrators and their motivations. The emergence, radicalisation, and dissolution of youth gangs, and subcultures promoting a racist or nationalist image, are also central themes. The author argues that neither the perspective of ideological politics nor a narrow youth delinquency perspective can alone provide an adequate understanding of this complex phenomenon. He suggests a multi-dimensional approach, taking into account a number of value complexes over which the participants struggle: ideology, identity, scarce resources, sexuality, territory, and security.

Tore Bjørgo?s study takes us a serious step forward in our empirical knowledge about right-wing and racist violence in post-World War II Europe. His intimate familiarity with movements, the character of the perpetrators, their role in local communities, and their entry and exit patterns provide us with an excellent picture of the phenomenon.

About the author: Tore Bjørgo, on the basis of this present study, was awarded a doctorate by the Social Science Faculty, University of Leiden. His four principal (and often combined) fields of research interest have been political communication, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, political terrorism, and racism/right-wing extremism. Since 1988 he has been a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

Publisher: Tano Aschehoug AS 1997
ISBN: 82-518-3665-4
380 pages, paperback
Published in English

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