Rise of the Reactionaries: Panel Discussion

On December 9 at 10 AM EST, The Program on Extremism at The George Washington University and the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) held a virtual event to accompany the release of its newest report, Rise of the Reactionaries: Comparing the Ideologies of Salafi-Jihadism and White Supremacist Extremism, authored by Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, Blyth Crawford and Valentin Wutke. 


The study provides an in-depth assessment of the ideological similarities between white supremacist extremists and jihadists. It explores the underlying reactionary and violently intolerant nature of both movements, arguing that they can be understood as the products of very similar political impulses which are gaining traction around the world.


Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, Research Director at the Program on Extremism moderated a discussion on the report’s findings and more. Speakers included:


J.M. Berger - Research fellow with VOX-Pol and a Ph.D. candidate at Swansea University's School of Law, where he studies extremist ideologies. His research encompasses extremism and terrorism, propaganda, and social media analytical techniques. He is a member of the advisory board of the RESOLVE Network and the independent advisory committee of the Global Internet Forum for Counter Terrorism.

Blyth Crawford - Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation where she specializes in far-right online social movements. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at King’s College London where she studies far-right radicalization within online forums utilizing an ethnographic method.

Julia Ebner - Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, where she leads projects on online radicalization, disinformation, and hate speech. She is also the author of the bestselling books Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists and The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism.

Christopher Wall - PhD student at King’s College London’s (KCL) Department of War Studies, where he researches and writes about global far-right extremism from a comparative perspective. He is the author, with the late Walter Laqueur, of The Future of Terrorism. In addition, he has a secondary research track examining how AI/ML affect the counterterrorism enterprise in democratic societies.