The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: The British Extreme Right

The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: The British Extreme Right

This report is the second empirical case study, produced out of The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology project, funded by CREST.

The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: The British Extreme Right
Click here to download this case study.

Why do some ‘extremists’ or ‘extremist groups’ choose not to engage in violence, or only in particular forms of low-level violence? Joel Busher, Donald Holbrook and Graham Macklin have developed a typology to better understand why there are often thresholds of violence that members of extremist groups rarely cross. You can read the Full Report here.

This second empirical case study explores the extreme right, providing an example of mobilisation around a racial-nationalist ideology where, while there is significant interpersonal violence, lethal violence is rare and the period under analysis is characterised by a significant attempt to shift away from violence towards orthodox political campaigning.

The specific empirical focus of the case study is on the British National Party (BNP) during the 1990s as it strove to achieve electoral legitimacy whilst simultaneously struggling to contain the actions and growing influence of its own radical flank – Combat 18 (C18) – which the BNP itself had initially formed to defend the party from a direct action campaign against it by Anti-Fascist Action (AFA).

While further escalation did take place within the radical flank, here too there were observable limits on violence, with actions that exceeded established parameters of ‘acceptable’ violence provoking intra-movement opposition, disillusionment and disengagement.

Where higher levels of violence did take place, it was largely directed at targets within the movement and served to reduce the capacity of the group to prosecute violence against opponents.

The extreme right case study is based upon a survey of the secondary academic literature, extreme right publications, activist memoirs, journalistic accounts of the groups in question, contemporary newspaper reports, television documentaries, and an interview with an anti-fascist activist (Respondent B1) active during the period.


The Internal Brakes On Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology

You can download this case study here: The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: The British Extreme Right

You can find the Executive Summary here.

You can find the Full Report here.

This report is the second empirical case study, produced out of The Internal Brakes on Violent Escalation: A Descriptive Typology project, funded by CREST.

You can read the other two case studies; The Transnational and British Jihadi Scene and The Animal Liberation Movement, plus the full report at: www.crestresearch.ac.uk/internal-brakes

To find out more information about this project, and to see other outputs from the team, go to: www.crestresearch.ac.uk/projects/internal-brakes-violent-escalation/

This report is produced under a Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC-SA licence. For more information on how you can use our content read our copyright page.