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Lone Wolves in sheep's clothing – terrorism as a symptom

New Springer book, Lone Wolves: The New Terrorism of Right-Wing Single Actors, examines a new breed of terrorism that feeds on the hunger for sensationalism and the trend of depoliticisation in Western societies exposing unfamiliar risks and threats

Heidelberg | New York, 6 March 2020

Book cover: Lone WolvesThe attacks in Hanau, Christchurch, Munich and Norway show that a new form of terrorism is establishing and it represents a growing challenge for our societies. Under the title Lone Wolves: The New Terrorism of Right-Wing Single Actors, Florian Hartleb, an expert on terrorism and populism, provides in-depth insights into the biographies of individual perpetrators. The idea of the book originated from Hartleb’s work in the case of the murderous assault in Munich in 2016, where he reached the conclusion that it certainly was not an apolitical act, but far-right terrorism in the form of a “lone wolf” attack. Hartleb presents a comprehensive overview of this new dimension of terrorism that is a present and both a virtual and international threat.

Throughout the six chapters of the book, dangers emanating from right-wing terrorism are analysed by discussing ideologies, motives and goals to address radicalisation and present countermeasures as well as prevention possibilities. Hartleb also criticises how politicians seem reluctant to deal with home-grown right-wing terrorism by individual perpetrators. “We should not allow ourselves to succumb to panic mongering. Populists and the tabloid press help fuel this image; however, many drivers of public opinion too, according to which we must reckon with terrorism everywhere. That is dubious: Far sooner we are concerned with an objective debate, with no zeal or lust for sensationalism”, Hartleb states in his book.

Hartleb effectively illustrates the root of the threat in how larger ideological packs seem to be able to radicalize individuals who participate in a global right-wing subculture. He calls on the authorities to better monitor communication via virtual/social networks to be prepared and ready to fight the cause of this new kind of terrorism at its root, rather than to “pathologize” the attacks of lone racist perpetrators.

This book urges both governments and civil society to take on the threat posed by the lone wolves and implement adequate countermeasures. It will appeal to any readers seeking to learn more about this new form of terrorism and to gain deeper insights into the dynamics and ideological roots of lone wolf terrorism.

About the author

Florian Hartleb is Managing Director of Hanse Advice in Tallinn (Estonia), a political consultancy, and lectures at German universities such as the Catholic University Eichstätt and the University for Police of Saxony-Anhalt. As part of his research focus - populism, parties, right-wing extremism and political leadership, as well as digitalization - Hartleb repeatedly appears in national media and regularly writes commentaries on current political issues. He was appointed as an official investigator of the City of Munich following the terror attacks of 22nd July 2016. Hartleb has published various books, including a Springer book on political populism in 2004, and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker.

Hartleb, Florian
Lone Wolves: The New Terrorism of Right-Wing Single Actors
2020, 190 p., 3 illus., 1 illus. in colour  
Softcover 24,99 € | £22.99 | $29.99 | 
ISBN 978-3-030-36152-5
eISBN 978-3-030-36153-2

Further information
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Journalists can request an electronic review copy of the bookLone Wolves: The New Terrorism of Right-Wing Single Actors


Stefanie Schulmeyer | Springer Nature | Communications
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