27 March 2013

goodwinA report released this month by Chatham House entitled, “The Roots of Extremism: The English Defence League and the Counter-Jihad Challenge” examines the rise of counter-jihad groups as a particularly confrontational and unpredictable variation of right-wing extremism in Europe and North America.


The author of the paper, Dr. Matthew Goodwin, an Associate Fellow at Chatham House and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nottingham, uses the English Defence League (EDL) as a case study to analyze the potential reasons for the emergence of counter-jihad organizations and the nature of those who support them. Using new data collected by a 2012 YouGov survey, Dr. Goodwin finds that many commonly held assumptions about right-wing extremists, specifically those pertaining to education level, socio-economic status, and age, do not accurately characterize the supporters of counter-jihad groups and that these assumptions do not serve as an adequate basis for policies meant to combat the unique threat posed by these organizations.

original report

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