A "lunatic fringe"? The persistence of right wing extremism in Australia

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Abstract

Right Wing Extremism (RWE) in Australia is historically persistent and contemporarily well-established.The persistence is not simply the consequence of an Australian-centric white nationalism, but is the result of international and domestic exchanges. This article investigates the persistence and appeal of Australian RWEgroups. The first movements emerged in the 1930s against Bolshevik Communism, and quickly established tieswith fellow travellers elsewhere in the Western world. While their influence diminished, their sentiment persistedin subcultural networks which also demonstrated international ties. RWE resurged in the 1980s, seeking to stymiepluralism and immigration. Some extremists travelled overseas, and formed connections with internationalcounterparts. Their activities were suppressed by law enforcement, but the sentiment continues to survive insubcultural networks. RWE resurfaced in the decade prior to the 2019 Christchurch attack, largely targeting ethnicAustralians and members of the Muslim community. Currently, the RWE threat in Australia is inherently tied toextremist attitudes regarding jihadism, Muslims, and immigration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)2-20
Number of pages20
JournalPerspectives on Terrorism
Volume13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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