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Digital radicalization and analogue extremism? A comparative analysis of violent extremism in the takfiri and extreme-right movements

Contact person: Tina Askanius
Responsible: Christofer Edling and Lunds universitet (PI)
Co-workers: Amir Rostami (Högskolan i Gävle)
Partner: Lunds universitet
Funding: Marianne & Marcus Wallenberg Foundation
Timeframe: 2018-01-01 -- 2022-01-01
Faculty/Department: Faculty of Culture and Society, Arts and Communication

The aim of the project is to understand the rise of new forms of violent extremism in contemporary Sweden; the extreme right and the takfiri movements. We ask to what extent radicalization is emergent on a coherent narrative of violent extremism and to what extent violence of extremist movements is legitimized with reference to such a narrative. We work from two competing hypotheses.

 The first hypothesis is the popular thesis that violent extremism emerges from a subscription to a radical ideology that is developed and expressed in online media, i.e. that individuals first turn to a radical movement and then to violent extremism. The second hypothesis is that individuals are drawn first to violent movements and then use radical ideology to justify violence. We aim to test these two hypotheses, and expect to find much lower support for the first hypothesis than would be expected from daily news discourse, while we expect to find strong support for the second hypothesis.

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