Shift the focus of the discussion about Norway

Would the Netherlands be able to avoid a similar assault?

The assault carried out in Norway is terrible, but in terms of public administration and politics also exceptionally interesting.

It is therefore astonishing that the public debate is primarily focused on questions of blame rather than on the much more relevant question of how well the Dutch system provides for the prevention of similar incidents on our own soil. The answer to this question contributes to the debate about Dutch policy.

Firstly, however, it is important to make two observations about the nature of the perpetrator. First, the persistent use of the term ‘lone wolf' is too quick to imply that this is the action of a single individual. We know that a single person carried out the shooting, but not that he thought this up entirely on his own. Secondly, in contrast to most ‘lone wolves', this perpetrator's actions were motivated by ideology. His ideology is described as right-wing radicalism. The fundamental difference between that ideology and Islamic radicalism, for example, is that it involves a dual image of the enemy. In jargon, there is a distinction between the element that is foreign to people (the Muslim, Jew or ethnic minority).

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Author(s)
Roeland Stolk

Titel
Shift the focus of the discussion about Norway

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