Radicalization and Disengagement in Neo-Nazi Movements : Social Psychology Perspective book cover
1st Edition

Radicalization and Disengagement in Neo-Nazi Movements
Social Psychology Perspective

ISBN 9780367714529
Published September 28, 2021 by Routledge
160 Pages

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Book Description

This book offers an in-depth study of personal accounts of men and women who have at one time entered, participated in and ultimately exited the neo-Nazi movement, with a focus on advanced Western states.


Through detailed stories of the movement’s violence, hatred, and ideology, coupled with narratives of the individuals’ life plans and dreams when entering the movement and reintegrating into society, the work provides knowledge, hope and new directions for readers to better understand and react to a reinvigorated extreme right across Western nations. The book provides innovative research on the relationship between the life trajectories of neo-Nazis and their significant others, enabling better and more evidence-based strategies for preventing radicalization and promoting deradicalization. The extensive case studies include the voices of those who returned to the movement, or never left at all, providing a rare opportunity to compare active, former and returned right-wing extremists. The main contribution of the book is to provide an innovative approach to the oral history of young men and women who have participated in different national and local neo-Nazi movements in Western countries, namely Sweden and the United States. In order to understand the current trends within the movement and their relationship to the surrounding society, this shift calls for in-depth analyses based on social-psychological and sociological perspectives. Stressing the importance of having a gender theory, sociocultural, historical and both a national and contextual perspective on the neo-Nazi movement, this book contributes new knowledge to this field of research.


This book will be of much interest to students of political extremism, radicalization, terrorism studies and social psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Contextualizing the book  2. Method, methodology and theoretical perspectives  3. From rowdy skinheads to middle-aged parents  4. Geographies of hate and childhood memories  5. Schooling and radicalization  6. Violence and masculinity  7. Changing attitudes toward violence and ideology 8. Disengaging from the neo-Nazi movement  9. The desire to belong: the ethos of neo-Nazism  10. Conspiracy theories—At the heart of the neo-Nazi movement   11. Conclusions  12. Appendix: the informants

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Christer Mattsson is the director of the Segerstedt Institute at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is the coauthor, with Thomas Johansson, of Life Trajectories into and out of Contemporary Neo-Nazism: Becoming and Unbecoming the Hateful Other (2020).

Thomas Johansson is professor of pedagogy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.