Athena Institute


The Political Mechanism Behind Extremist Operations

As the criminal trial of Anders Breivik unfolds in Oslo that the solo extremist tries to turn into a stage to once again promote his agenda with the help of European mass media, in Hungary, a surveillance tape was released highlighting a year-old story of domestic extremist groups discussing a coming civil war and the extermination of Roma Hungarians. On this background, the Institute releases a key study, published as part of its In-Depth Analytical Sequence program, that provides detailed insight into the political mechanism on which the above - and all similar - extremist operations rest on.

The Institute publishes the paper, authored by Non-Resident Fellow Manuel Mireanu, as it provides in-depth, nuanced background on the basis of which domestic extremism can be understood in nowadays Europe.

The carefully crafted paper first describes a theoretical approach developed in the past two decades, then applies it to the phenomenon of domestic extremism. For careful readers, implications are widespread, including the inherent weaknesses of a 21st century, technology-influenced mainstream political process in Europe. The paper also highlights the responsibility of mainstream politicians, some of whom are yet to fully understood the the way their public statements shape our reality. Still, the centerpiece of the study is its last part, where the author provides an insightful translation of theory to the reality of domestic extremist groups’ operations.

An executive summary of the paper is available in the Context section and the complete study is also available in pdf format.

The Athena Institute launched the In-Depth Analysis Sequence research program to describe key theoretical aspects of domestic extremism. Research conducted in the program aspires to provide a broad theoretical framework to understand the phenomena as a key emerging threat of the the 21st century - and to enable policy response. Recommended for interested members of the public and especially for those professionals who share a stake in European security, the current paper is a key addition to Sequence series.