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The Role of Freedom and Identity in the Perceived Experiences of Former Right-Wing Extremists

Von Anne Leiser.

This study aims to identify the distinctive elements that contribute to the experience of being a member of a right-wing scene. Eight German former right-wing extremists were interviewed about the experiences of their entry and exit processes. The transcripts were qualitatively analyzed using two-step inductive coding, and five overarching themes were thereby found. The themes reflect both the chronological order of events as well as the thematically decisive factors that favored the entry and exit processes. They first explores how participants initially became receptive to the right-extremist ideology through personal circumstances, followed by a search for belonging and agency. Once in the scene, the group as well as the ideology offered a protective shell and a safe haven, although simultaneously also limiting the individual in their choices and exerting a level of control. Finally, the participants perceived contradictions and ambiguity, which led to them questioning their involvement in the scene and group affiliation. Throughout this process, identity and freedom are reoccurring core elements and will be discussed in more depth in the course of this study.

Editorial remark by Journal EXIT-Germany

The interviews for this paper was carried out in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam and EXIT Deutschland. The interviews used for this work are part of the research project SAFIRE (A Scientific Approach to Finding Indicators and Responses to Radicalisation).* The present thesis was first published in 2012 and will be made accessible again in the Journal EXIT-Deutschland.

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Junge Rechtsradikale im Strafverfahren – Auflagen und Weisungen: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen in der Deradikalisierung
Autor: Bernd Wagner

Der Rechtsradikalismus beschäftigt den Rechtsstaat und mithin den Sozialstaat in nicht unerheblicher Weise. Es ist sinnvoll, schon in frühen Stadien der rechten Radikalisierung durch staatliches Handeln einzuwirken, um die Radikalisierung abzubrechen, eine (politisch) kriminelle Karriere zu verhindern und Gruppen in ihre rechtlichen Schranken zu weisen. In diesem Projekt wurden deshalb zur Wirksamkeit der juristischen Instrumente Erfahrungen dargelegt, die in der Strafrechtsprechung gewonnen wurden und durch Aussteiger aus der rechtsradikalen Szene bewertet wurden.



Foto: Kev Seto /