Does Martialization Contribute to Australia’s Right-Wing Extremism? Implications of an Analysis of the General Social Survey

Willem de Lint, Rodrigo Praino

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Abstract

Concept review on right-wing extremism (RWE) holds that authoritarianism, nationalism and anti-democracy are the values that most strongly correlate. Evidence suggests these views are prevalent among military veterans. In this paper we test the hypothesis that individuals that are subjected to martialization are more likely to hold RWE values than other individuals. Using the General Social Survey, which permits the operationalization of authoritarianism, nationalism and anti-democracy into 12 dependent variables, we find that individuals with high levels of exposure to martialization show higher probability of preferring a more extreme stance for every single dependent variable modeled for every year included in the analysis. The result suggests that counter-extremism policy must not ignore the overwhelming impact of military experience where “hearts and minds” are shaped.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Early online date23 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Extremism
  • Right-wing extremism
  • Nationalism
  • Anti-democracy
  • Counter-extremism policy

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