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Discursive Opportunities and the Evolution of Right-Wing Violence in Germany

Koopmans, Ruud and Susan Olzak. 2004. "Discursive Opportunities and the Evolution of Right-Wing Violence in Germany.'' American Journal of Sociology 110: 198-230. Reprinted in 2010, pp. 592-46 in Readings on Social Movements: Origins,  Dynamics, and Outcomes.  edited by Doug McAdam and David A. Snow. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.

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This article explores the link between violence and public discourse. It suggests that media attention to radical right violence and public reactions to violence affect the clustering of targets and the temporal and spatial distribution of violence. The notion of “discursive opportunities” is introduced, and the article argues that it can serve to link political opportunity structure and framing perspectives on collective action. Using a cross‐sectional and time‐series design to model event counts in states in Germany, this study finds that differential public visibility, resonance, and legitimacy of right‐wing violence significantly affected the rate of violence against different target groups.

American Journal of Sociology
Ruud Koopmans