Research on extremism and related phenomena such as radicalization or terrorism is emotionally demanding and can even become dangerous, in part because it frequently means engaging with intense, and at times violent, societal conflict. The most recent escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict is a poignant example of this, in which researchers specialized in antisemitism, Islamophobia, or Islamist and right-wing extremism are expected to keep up with fast-paced developments while simultaneously navigating the emotional impact of unfolding violence. This blog post highlights the difficulties researchers face in this field and proposes suggestions for addressing these challenges at the institutional and structural levels.
Right-wing terrorism is a growing threat for democratic societies globally. With rising numbers in death tolls and far-right narratives creeping into the mainstream, the extreme right assumed a new face through the digital dissemination of extremist propaganda and trivialising violence – thereby attracting new audiences. Greater cooperation is required between the state, researchers, and tech companies to address the manipulative strategies used by these groups.