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On July 22, 2011 Anders Behring Breivik bombed a government building in Oslo, resulting in the deaths of eight people. A few hours later he attacked a youth camp associated with the dominant liberal Labor Party of Norway killing 69 people, mostly teenagers. His act of mass murder captured world attention, as did his electronic distribution of an infamous document entitled 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, which proclaims a right-wing world view with unyielding hostility towards multiculturalism and the alleged "Islamization of Europe. While right-wing extremist groups in Norway has been weak and insignificant over the past decades, the large populist right wing party, the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet), has sustained a central role in the liberal democracy with a critical position on immigrant issues. My research focuses on the underlying ideology of historical and contemporary right wing extremism in Norway. This includes, among others, the Norwegian Nobel Laureate and Nazi sympathizer Knut Hamsun, the Norwegian fascist party (Nasjonal Samling) and the contemporary presence of xenophobic, anti-immigration and anti-Islamic right wing in Norway, including the larger context of the ideology and behavior of the mass-murderer Breivik. My research, drawing on archival research on the extreme right in Scandinavia and Europe and interviews with several prominent psychiatrists, politicians, authors on Knut Hamsun and experts on radical-right in Norway, suggest that close parallels can be noted between the rhetoric of Nazi anti-Semitism and modern Islamophobia, with incidental differences of group identities and the basis for perceiving a threat. Within the various forms of right wing extremism there are strikingly similar ideological structures used to justify political violence, and Breivik is a textbook example of how the growing presence of the right-wing extremist activity online can only be ignored at our peril.
Right-Wing Extremism, Anders Behring Breivik, Norway, Terrorism, Extremism, Radical Right, Nazi, July 22, Knut Hamsun, Quisling
Date of Defense
April 18, 2013.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major.
Jacobsen, C. (2013). Breivik's Sanity: Historical and Contemporary Right-Wing Political Violence in Norway. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_uhm-0226