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The Far Right and Reciprocal Radicalisation (2018)

There is increasing evidence of instrumental responses from some of the most extreme groups, which seek to encourage the strategic use of violence.


Reciprocal radicalisation, or cumulative extremism, is a concept that suggests extremist groups become more extreme in response to each other's activity. This means a group may frame violence as justified or necessary because they perceive an opposing group as extreme. Identifying how to respond to such a dynamic has become increasingly important, as terrorist threats from both far-right and Islamist groups increase, alongside increased hate crime and group membership.


More research is needed to establish the extent to which extremist groups genuinely escalate in response to each other. Small groups such as the British Far-Right National Action, and their subsequent incarnations, can be particularly challenging due to the way they thrive on conflict with other groups. My own work examines individual groups at a more granular level, through which it may be possible to establish how, when, and why risks increase.