Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism


GPM515 Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism

An 8 point post-graduate subject delivered by the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

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This subject will be delivered in intensive mode over a 1 week period. Specific dates will be provided once confirmed.

Right wing extremism and terrorism is increasing around the world. The attack in Christchurch in 2019 reinforced the ideological and strategic evolution of the threat milieu. In this subject, you will be introduced to theories which explain Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism, and you will explore the ideological contours of the extreme right worldview. You will then investigate right wing terrorist strategies, attacks, and perpetrator typologies to advance your knowledge of the terrorism nexus. Its transnational nature will be explored through the framework of online networks, and with reference to the domestic and international environments. Finally, you will use evidence and theory to assess the contemporary extreme right wing landscape.


Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism, with reference to ideology, strategies and tactics, and networks, in order to provide strategic insight
  • be able to critically evaluate Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism, with reference to abstract concepts and actual practice, to make threat assessments
  • be able to use a range of research approaches and evidence types to analyse and evaluate existing knowledge of right wing terrorism in order to substantiate assessments
  • be able to objectively evaluate right wing threats to contribute to debate and inform professional practice
  • be able to clearly communicate complex issues associated with Right Wing Extremism to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Indicative assessment

  • Key insights and Takeaways – 10%
  • Ideological Profile – 30%
  • Threat Assessment – 60%


The set text for this course is:

Hawley, G. (2019). The Alt-Right: What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Note that all of these texts offer something different and come at the subject from a different perspective, but all are by well-regarded experts in their field. Various chapters from these texts will readings within the subject, and will subsequently be made available electronically.

reading list extract

  • Jacob Aasland Ravndal. ‘Explaining Right-Wing Terrorism and Violence in Western Europe: grievances, opportunities, and polarisation.’ European Journal of Political Research, 57 (2018).
  • Noemie Bouhana, Emily Corner, Paul Gill, and Bart Schuurman. ‘Background and preparatory behaviour of Right-Wing Extremist Lone Actors: A comparative study.’ Perspectives on Terrorism 12, 6 (2018).
  • Tore Bjorgo and Jacob Aasland Ravndal. ‘Extreme-Right Violence and terrorism: Concepts, Patterns, and Responses.’ ICCT Policy Brief, September 2019.

subject availability

academic year 2023

Online MODE