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X: A Case Study of a Swedish Neo-Nazi and His Reintegration into Swedish Society


  • Jessica Eve Stern

    Corresponding author
    1. FXB Center for Health and Human Right, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    • Correspondence to: Jessica Eve Stern, Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Right, Harvard University, 141 Coolidge Hill, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail:

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This article provides a case study of a Swedish neo-Nazi and the reintegration program being provided to him. During an extensive interview that took place over two days, he told a researcher that he was interested in having a violent adventure, and that he was drawn to Nazi symbols and history more than their creed. In comparison with ordinary crime, terrorist crime is quite rare, and access to detailed case studies is rarer still, making the development of a prospective risk-assessment instrument extremely difficult. Researchers' “thick descriptions” of their encounters with terrorists can help us to develop putative risk factors which can then be tested against controls. The article concludes by arguing that just as there is no single pathway into or out of terrorism, there can be no single reintegration program. A series of thick descriptions is a first step toward understanding what leads individuals into and out of terrorism. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.