Event Date: 15 – 17 May 2019
Richmond University – The American University in London
Richmond TW10 6JP
A Century of Radical Right Extremism: New Approaches
Greta Jasser (Leuphana University) – Mapping out the Alt-Right
The far-right has long declared its goal to ‘reclaim cultural hegemony’. From extreme-right websites like The Daily Stormer (“Dissemination of Our Memes is the Key to Victory” (Rogers 2018)), over more high-brow outlets like Richard Spencer’s alt-right.com (“Culture War first, Race War later” (Law 2018)), the far-right considers control over culture, cultural content, and language to be of great importance for reaching its political aims. Within the US-American far-right, a sense of achievement and success seems to prevail regarding their firm establishment in the midst the political sphere – rather than at its margins. At the very center of this perceived success is the enfant terrible of the internet: the Alt-Right. This loose conglomerate of people is portrayed as the young, tech-savvy branch of the far-right, addressing mainly Millennials and the ‘Generation Z’. While ‘Alt-Right’ has been used in different contexts to broadly describe a sub-set of the far-right, little is yet known about its inner structure. This paper sets out to determine the networking structure of alt-right individuals and groups within the far-right network online. Starting from a social network analysis of hyperlinks between websites, I ask the questions of how the alt-right is embedded into the fragmented US-American far-right web-sphere. Additionally, I answer the following queries:
• Which sites and actors are part of an alt-right cluster within the network?
• Which are central actors of both, the network in its entirety, and within the alt-right subset?
• If the alt-right differs from the rest of the network, how does this difference effect their potential as a political movement?
Additionally, I trace the networking of alt-right figures on the alt-tech platform gab.com. I here for rely on social network analysis as well as content analysis, to detect subnetworks, and ideological cohesion and variances amongst the US American far-right.