Right-wing waves: Applying the Four Waves Theory to transnational and transhistorical right-wing threat trends

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The increasing global prominence of right-wing extremism and terrorism has been noted by scholars and government agencies alike. While right-wing terrorism has been documented throughout postwar history, groups have evolved, resulting in diverse materializations of violence perpetrated on behalf of varying ideologies and perceived threats. This paper draws upon Campion’s research into Australian right-wing extremism and terrorism, where three ideological threat narratives were identified. The aim of this research was to determine the applicability of Rapoport’s ‘wave’ theory to the international evolution of extreme right-wing activity. In doing so, Campion’s framework is utilized and a case study analysis undertaken, investigating anti-communist, anti-immigration and anti-Islamic rhetoric on a transnational and transhistorical basis. It is argued that waves are found internationally, and that Rapoport’s model is therefore applicable to the right-wing milieu. The paper concludes that the extreme right is on the cusp of the next wave and discusses trends that may inform those in a position to counteract the forthcoming wave of activity. There remains a need for law enforcement and security agencies to monitor right-wing extremism and terrorism activity to remain attuned to the ever-evolving threat as the next wave manifests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jan 2023


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