ICCT organised a meeting with Tommi Kotonen, as part of a project funded by Hague municipality. It was a pleasure to welcome him to discuss his research on extremist groups survival, focusing on Nordic Resistance Movement and Soldiers of Odin. A great discussion was had with Dutch Counter-terrorism practitioners.
Right-wing extremism in the Netherlands currently consists of a large number of small groups and cells. This raises the question of which of these collectives should receive the attention of municipalities, the police and other interested parties. In order to be able to make this assessment in a substantiated manner, the municipality of The Hague, in collaboration with the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), commissioned a study into the longevity of right-wing extremist groups. The research was conducted by Tommi Kotonen, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and who has done extensive research on right-wing extremist groups in Scandinavia. In the research he is currently doing for the municipality of The Hague, he uses his knowledge of Scandinavian right-wing extremist groups to answer the question of which factors determine whether a group lasts or not.
Because the municipality of The Hague is not the only place where choices have to be made in the prioritization of right-wing extremist groups, we organised a meeting where Dr. Kotonen presented his findings and where we could then discuss the lessons from Scandinavia with a number of experts.
The session took place behind closed doors. It was chaired by Thomas Renard and moderated by Barbara Molas.