Global Perspectives on the Transnational Far-Right Threat and Response

Launching RUSI’s Far-Right Extremism and Terrorism (FRET) Research Programme

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Overview

This event marks the launch of RUSI’s Far-Right Extremism and Terrorism (FRET) research programme, led by RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict Research Group based in London and Nairobi, the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, and the Cyber Research Group. It will highlight the existing state of research on the transnational nature of FRET and herald the start of research contributions that RUSI aims to make through this new research programme.

Despite the emphasis that far-right groups and movements place on nationalism and local roots, these networks are increasingly forging transnational links. In the last decade, we have observed multiple examples of attacks serving as a galvanising force for similar hits in other parts of the world. Enabled by the internet as well as easier and more frequent physical and financial interactions, the global logistical and ideological links between such groups have grown stronger, thereby changing the nature of the threat.

The globalisation of attacks and extremist and terrorist groups indicates the need to look at the threat through a transnational lens in order to develop more effective responses. This, in turn, would enable the design of preventing and countering violent extremism programming, counterterrorist financing approaches and possible ways to limit the spread of hate by tackling far-right threats earlier and more effectively.

Session recordings

Watch the session recordings from the conference.

Welcome Keynote

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Session One: Global Connections

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Session Two: Online Connections

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Session Three: Physical and Ideological Connections

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Session Four: Financial Connections

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Closing Remarks

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Related project


Resources on the Resurging Threat of Far-Right Extremism and Terrorism

We provide a collection of resources focused on understanding the resurging threat of far-right extremism and terrorism.

Agenda

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    Introduction and Welcome

    Chair: Dr Jessica White, Research Fellow, Terrorism and Conflict, RUSI

    RUSI Keynotes:

    • Dr Karin von Hippel, Director General, RUSI
    • Sir Mark  Rowley, RUSI Distinguished Fellow and former Head of UK Counter Terrorism Policing
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    Session One: Global Connections

    This session will discuss FRET in regions beyond Western Europe and North America, which traditionally attract the majority of scholarship in this area. It will highlight individual case studies from the global far-right landscape.

    Chair: Luniya Msuku, Director, RUSI Nairobi  

    Speakers: 

    • Dr Alexandra Phelan, Lecturer Monash University, Deputy Director, Monash GPS
    • Dr Eviane Leidig, Research Fellow, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) 
    • Willem Els, Senior Training Coordinator, Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
    • Dr Ariel Goldstein, Researcher, Instituto de Estudios de América Latina y el Caribe (IEALC) and National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina   
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    BREAK

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    Session Two: Online Connections

    This session will focus on transnational interactions between far-right individuals and communities online, via mainstream and non-mainstream social media, messaging apps and online gaming.

    Chair: Claudia Wallner, Research Analyst, Terrorism and Conflict, RUSI

    Speakers:

    • Professor Stuart Macdonald, Director, Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC), Swansea University
    • Dr Ashley Mattheis, Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right
    • Jacob Davey, Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
    • Kate Davis, Manager and Senior Researcher, Moonshot
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    Session Three: Physical and Ideological Connections

    This session will discuss some of the ideological connections and physical/offline interactions that often ground the formation of transnational communities between individuals and groups within the far-right.

    Chair: Dr Jessica White, Research Fellow, Terrorism and Conflict, RUSI

    Speakers:

    • Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Executive Director, Soufan Center
    • Ann-Kathrin Rothermel, Research Associate, University of Potsdam
    • Alexander Ritzmann, Senior Advisor, Counter Extremism Project (CEP)
    • Dr Kacper Rekawek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo
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    BREAK

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    Session Four: Financial Connections

    This session will address the on/offline fundraising strategies and international financial links of the far right. We will discuss the role financing plays in far-right activities globally and assess how these trends compare to the financing of transnational jihadist groups.

    Chair: Tom Keatinge, Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS), RUSI

    Speakers:

    • Stephen Reimer, Research Fellow, CFCS, RUSI
    • Dr Bethan Johnson, Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right
    • Jacob Davey, Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
    • Brenna Smith, Visual Investigations Fellow, New York Times
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    Closing Remarks

    RUSI FRET representatives will draw up lessons from the conference and highlight areas where FRET research aims to fill some of the remaining gaps.

    Speakers:

    • Dr Jessica White, Research Fellow, Terrorism and Conflict, RUSI
    • James Sullivan, Director, Cyber, RUSI
    • Tom Keatinge, Director, CFCS, RUSI

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