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Beyond the fringe?

Vertigans, Stephen


Stephen Vertigans


The concentration within America upon terrorism and Muslims overlooks recent acts of political violence undertaken by the indigenous extreme far-right. In this article the rise of the militia and Christian Identity movement in America is explored and the social processes and agents behind the radicalisation of individuals and groups and emergence of political violence examined. It is argued that, while the 1995 Oklahoma bombing led to the movement's growing popularity being curtailed, many of the factors behind its rise remain. By exploring the broad range of issues behind the emergence of the contemporary movement, the popular perception that support for related groups has been mobilised by materialism is challenged. In some aspects underlying reasons for mobilisation have been exasperated both by the perceived failure of George W. Bush to deliver electoral promises that were supported within the far-right movement and conversely the Democrat Party's success in the 2006 mid-term elections. Consequently, the home-grown 'enemy within' remains a threat.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2007
Journal Totalitarian movements and political religions
Print ISSN 1469-0764
Electronic ISSN 1743-9647
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3-4
Pages 641-659
Institution Citation VERTIGANS, S. 2007. Beyond the fringe? Radicalisation within the American far-right. Totalitarian movements and political religions [online], 8(3-4), pages 641-659. Available from:
Keywords America; Terrorism; Muslims; Far right; Political violence; Christians; Ku Klux Klan; Christian identity


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