Positions and Continuities
Introduction (Nicola Karcher and Anders G. Kjøstvedt)
Introduction Nicola Karcher and Anders G. Kjøstvedt The term “extreme right” continues to be in common usage, and is frequently em- ployed in political discourse, in the media, and in academic debates. Although it lacks a generally agreed upon definition, the term seems to be more popular than ever. There are many reasons for this. The recession currently crippling several Eu- ropean countries has led to a heightened awareness of the possibility of a political crisis, and of the implications of increased support for extreme right-wing parties. Additionally, in the past couple of years Europe has been plagued by severe acts of terror, with perpetrators expressing extreme right world views. In November 2011 German police uncovered the National Socialist Underground (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund, NSU), a terrorist group responsible for the murder of nine immigrants and one policewoman as well as several other violent attacks between September 2000 and April 2006. The xenophobic murders, and the extended period of time it took for German authorities to uncover the terrorist cell, have sent shock waves through German society, and the group’s possible connections are now under in- vestigation. Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorist act on 22 July 2011 was not only the greatest crime committed in postwar Norwegian history; his bomb attack and mur- derous killing spree in a political youth camp on an isolated island were carried out in order to draw attention to his political “manifesto”. The judicial process against Breivik earlier this year received worldwide attention and sparked renewed debate...
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