1st Edition

Imagining Far-right Terrorism Violence, Immigration, and the Nation State in Contemporary Western Europe

By Josefin Graef Copyright 2022
    244 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Imagining Far-right Terrorism explores far-right terrorism as an object of the narrative imagination in contemporary Western Europe.

    Western European societies are generally reluctant to think of far-right and racist violence as terrorism, but the reasons for this remain little understood. This book focuses on the extraordinarily complex case of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Germany, and high-profile instances of racist violence in Sweden and Norway. The author analyses the narratives surrounding far-right and racist violence, drawing on a broad range of empirical sources. Her account attributes the limits of imagining violence as far-right terrorism to elite practices of narrative control that maintain positive images of the liberal-democratic order in counterpoint to its two constitutive "others" – the far-right and racialised minorities. Situated broadly within the scholarly tradition of critical terrorism studies, the book breaks new ground in research on far-right terrorism by following its narrative traces across time, public spaces of contestation, and national borders. It also draws on material and findings originally written in German, Swedish, and Norwegian, which were previously not available in English.

    This much-needed volume will be of particular interest to students and researchers of terrorism and political violence, right-wing extremism, European politics, and communication studies.

    1. Imagining Far-right Terrorism

    2. Narrative Dialectics

    3. After Evil

    4. Filling the Void

    5. Counter-imaginations

    6. The Making of a Terrorism Trial

    7. Proving Far-right Terrorism in Court

    8. The Limits of Imagining Far-right Terrorism


    Josefin Graef is an independent scholar whose work deals with the uses of narrative theory and analysis for understanding contemporary European politics and societies, particularly in relation to violence and immigration.