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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Defiantly principled: Breivik v Norway

A survivor of Anders Behring Breivik's mass murder supports recent court verdict that the Norwegian state has infringed on the human rights of the terrorist.

In search of the spider in Anders Behring Breivik's web

For months we searched for the Norwegian terrorist’s most prominent supporter. Our hunt ended in a suburb in South Carolina, USA.

The human face

What are the human impacts of far-right extremism? Hear perspectives from a survivor of far-right violence and a former far-right extremist (Video, 3 minutes)

The new wave of counter-terrorism

The FREE Initiative aims to prevent and counter far-right extremism across Europe by creating a platform for individual activists, organisations, government officials and others to learn from one another.

Recovering from terror

A year on from the Anders Behring Breivik's terrorist attacks on Norway, Marte Christensen conducted a series of interviews in Oslo for openDemocracy.

Something rotten in the kingdom of Norway

At the end of his trial, the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was deemed sufficiently sane to be imprisoned. But the process and outcome, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen, open another question: will Norway now use the opportunity to deal with its inner demons, namely the sources of Breivik's hatred of a culturally diverse new country?

Trilogy of tragedy

Three texts taken together invoke Norway’s darkest day in peacetime.

Norway’s democratic example

The process and result in the trial of Anders Breivik are a vindication of Norway’s liberal democracy and a lesson for the world, says Cas Mudde.

Breivik court verdict: security lessons?

Now that the legal question of Anders Breivik’s sanity has been resolved it should be possible to focus more closely on his political motivation and the security lessons that arise from this case. This should help inform a debate about how best to tackle the growing problem of far right violence in Europe and the US

Legal insanity - look to Norway?

The Norwegian penal law is one of the very few in the world that adheres to what is referred to as the medical principle. The medical principle implies that a person with a diagnosis that involves an active ongoing psychosis should be regarded as insane.

Justice is just a word

This Friday, Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik hears his verdict. It will do little to console the wreckage of the living. A writer who covered the events and the court case reflects on the impossibility of justice.

One year after terrorism struck Norway: taking stock

Key figures in the Norwegian media have acted on the assumption that open confrontation with right-wing bloggers and activists is the most effective strategy to combat extremism.

Breivik and the Norwegian immigration debate

There is a limit to how much you can learn about moderates by looking at extremists. And if you stop noticing the difference altogether, you are well on your way to becoming an extremist. 

Failing to take far right violence seriously

The threat of far right terrorism and political violence ought to be taken at least as seriously as the radical Islamic one. Obstacles include the false belief that far right violence is local and not globally connected.

Notes from the Editor-in-Chief

Our Editor-in-Chief launches a new front page feature. His first note reflects on Norway's past year and the need for eternal vigilance both against online hate speech and the new manacles on internet freedom in the pipeline.

Norway - one year after: an open wound

Populist right-wing politicians expressing extreme views on immigration, Islam and Muslims, have in general been confronted in the mediated public spheres to a much greater extent than before 22/7, as have extreme-right wingers. But how much else has moved on?

The power of hate and the potential of Norway

Before 9/11, I hardly knew or saw anyone who wore a hijab or a long beard. Over the past decade, this has changed, partly because many Muslims, young people in particular, do not feel accepted and often find themselves on the periphery of society. We must not let Utøya lead to further division when the opportunity of living togther in Norway is so inspiring.

Norway's trial, and a democratic lesson

The legal procedure in the case of Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the Norwegian massacre of July 2011, is a case-study of democratic values - in particular, that democracy is not a "what" but a "how", says Thomas Hylland Eriksen.

Norway's atrocity: a story of non-impact

The immediate reactions to the terrorist attack in Oslo in July 2011 were both politicised and inaccurate. The opening of the perpetrator's trial nine months later finds leading ideological positions still full of evasion, says Cas Mudde.

Heart Against Stone: the story of a survivor from Utøya

This excerpt is the first English translation of a remarkable account of the experience of one of the young survivors on Utøya. The 21yr-old was shot and wounded after the events related here. He wants to tell his story to honour the dead and show that terror cannot defeat political engagement.  

The far right takes root in Europe

Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks are part of a worrying trend in Europe of the far right’s rise within mainstream politics. From the Netherlands and Germany to Britain and France, immigrant communities are on the defensive.

Europe’s radical right: recognising and managing the ‘threat’

Safeguarding communities and nations from the potential threats of radical right narratives is not about controlling or prohibiting their political parties: but about bridging gaps between political leadership and communities.

Neo-Nazi terror and Germany’s racism problem

A failed bank robbery on November 4 this year, exposed a cell in eastern Germany calling itself the “National Socialist Underground”, apparently responsible for the murder of at least ten people, most of them immigrants, among other acts of violence over the last decade. Together with the murder of dozens last summer by a Norwegian right-wing extremist this case has focused a spotlight on the presence of a new right-wing terrorism. Until the media and the population at large start recognizing immigrants and others marked by ethnic or religious difference as belonging to Germany, a deep-seated, everyday racism will provide fertile soil from which such acts of extremism will continue to grow.

Europe beyond Utøya: addressing a crisis

The slaughter of citizens in Norway in July 2011 was more than the act of an individual: it emerged from a political and intellectual atmosphere that now pervades European public life. This deeper reality must be understood and addressed if Europe is to save itself by living up to its own ideals, says Umut Özkirimli.

Bolts from the blue: method and madness in the West

The Norwegian massacre and the gun attack on a US congresswoman were both dismissed as the work of deranged loners. But instead of signifying nothing, they were extraordinarily expressive of current political life. The author trawls through a host of supposedly pathological murders in the richest societies of the West to find deep and recurring patterns.

The national Us: the Norwegian idea of togetherness

Ingen Utenfor is the very successful anti-bullying campaign run by Save the Children in Norway. In English it means “No one outside.”

The net of hatred: after Utøya

The public debate in Norway following the massacre of 22 July 2011 is taking shape. A key focus is the obsessional and hate-filled language that pervades and dominates online discussion, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen.

Breivik: killing the left

However nuanced, it is striking how little extant interpretations attend to the fact that Breivik’s most grotesque violence was not directed at Muslims or immigrants as such but at the youth members of the Norwegian Social Democrats.

Let's unite! a wake-up call from Norway

The deadly attacks in Oslo are not only about Norway: they are about all of us. Ten years after the 9/11 terror, we face a common threat from extremism. Let's confront it together.

Norway: terror and Islamophobia in the mirror

As Norway ends its first month of mourning, media soundbites tell us that there is a desire to draw a line and move on. But there are lessons to be learned about the consequences of institutional ‘hate speech’ and prejudice in high places. Can Norway lead the way in learning these lessons?

Why let facts ruin the story? Norwegian comments on US coverage of the Norway terror

Instead of getting the facts, the US media seemed most concerned making reality fit their pre-fabricated narrative.

Confronting ‘extremisms’: the cautious way forward from the Norwegian tragedy

It is too easy to brand terrorists with labels. We need to consider, in depth, the reasons behind people’s actions - remembering that psychology can play as much of a role as ideology

The far right are the masters of network politics, not the 'internationalist' left

While the left presume they are the internationalists, it is the far right who have mastered network politics, by scaling seamlessly from the local to the national to the civilisational

The roots of Breivik's ideology: where does the romantic male warrior ideal come from today?

Breivik should be understood as an ideologue driven by reasons and not just as a psychological case. A careful reading of his 2083 manifesto reveals four distinct influences we need to understand: contemporary Islamophobic ideologies, cultural conservative/neo-Confederate traditions, elements of modern White Power thinking, and anti-feminist thought

Norway's atrocity: the mental tunnel

The deadly attacks in Norway are fuelling debate about multiculturalism, immigration, security and radicalisation. But more attention must also be paid to the behaviours and attitudes that underlie extreme political violence, says Sara Silvestri.

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