CENS Webinar on Evolutions of Right Wing Extremism
“Far Right” and Extreme Right Wing (XRW) has, to different people, different connotations. To some, these are no more than fringe movements. To others who espouse the ideals themselves, these either at the vanguard of history (say, when it comes to foreign fighting to protect another people), or are protecting an idealized way of life which in danger of being occluded by (as the case may be) hostile governments, or by races or religions with which no peaceful co-existence can be contemplated. These movements use varied and increasingly savvy ways (imagery, gamification) to disseminate their messages and to bring on board a new generation of adherents, in some cases riffing off propaganda efforts by jihadist groups such as the Islamic State. Speakers will take on these topics and will also point the way forward in terms of what needs to be done to grapple with these challenges.
About the Panellists
Eviane Leidig is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University, Netherlands. Her research specializes on the global far-right, gender, and online radicalization, recruitment, and propaganda, as well as platform governance. She is currently heading an EU project that explores the relationship between social media platforms’ content moderation policies and changing far-right visual content practices. Eviane is affiliated with the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) in The Hague, and the Global Network on Extremism & Technology (GNET) in London. She regularly gives talks and consults for policymakers and practitioners such as the U.S. State Department, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Council of Europe, Radicalisation Awareness Network, NATO, regional and national intelligence agencies, as well as advises for tech companies and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).
Charlie Winter is Director of Research at ExTrac, an AI-enabled conflict and communications analytics system that was developed to track violent extremist militancy across the ideological spectrum. For the last decade he has worked in a range of academic positions in the US and UK, researching how and why violent extremists use strategic communication to further their political and military agendas in both on- and off-line spaces. Charlie’s research has been supported by the Global Internet Forum for Counter-Terrorism (GIFCT), Facebook, the UK Home Office, and the US Department for Homeland Security, among others. Besides this, Charlie is an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism and an Associate of the Imperial War Museum Institute in London. He is also member of the RESOLVE Network Research Advisory Council.
Kacper Rekawek, PhD, is a fellow at the Center for Research on Extremism, C-Rex, at the University of Oslo and a research associate at the Counter Extremism Project in New York. In the past he worked at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSPTV) at the University of St. Andrews, GLOBSEC in Slovakia and the University of Social Sciences in Warsaw. His research focuses on different themes from the field of terrorism and counterterrorism, and counter-extremism but since 2014 he has developed a specialisation in foreign fighters in the Russo-Ukrainian war. His monograph on the subject, Foreign Fighters in Ukraine. The Brown-Red Cocktail has just been published by Routledge.
Julia Ebner is a DPhil Candidate in Anthropology at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), where she has led projects on online extremism, disinformation and hate-speech. Based on her research, she has given evidence to numerous governments and parliamentary working groups (e.g.: the Home Affairs Committee), advised international organisations such as the UN, OSCE, Europol and NATO. Ebner has held guest lectures at universities such as Johns Hopkins University, MIT, UC Berkley, King’s College London, USC, UCLA and UNC. Her first book The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism won the Bruno-Kreisky-Award for Political Book of the Year 2018 and has been disseminated as teaching material across Germany by the Federal Agency for Civic Education. Her second bestselling book Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists was awarded the “Wissenschaftsbuch des Jahres 2020” Prize (“Science Book of the Year 2020”) by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education as well as the Caspar Einem Prize 2022. Julia speaks fluent English, German and French and has intermediate Spanish and Mandarin skills.