Online Hate as a Social Movement: Theoretical Implications

kutsutilaisuus · SEMINAR · 12.12.2023 14:00 - 15:30


Since the economic crisis of 2008, several Western democracies – such as Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and the United States – have witnessed the rise of right-wing political movements promoting hyper-nationalism and, at times, anti-democratic values. Many of these parties have been championed by online voices that amplify online hate and extremism.

In this event with James Hawdon and hosted by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, the speakers discuss the growing political importance of online hate and its meaning as part of a broader, trans-national social movement.

This event is a part of a research series on the characteristics of the US role in global politics organized by the Center on US Politics and Power at FIIA.



James Hawdon

Director, Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech; Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar Award

James Hawdon is director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech. Hawdon’s research investigates the role of communities in promoting, deterring, or reacting to crime, violence, and tragedies. His most recent work focuses on how communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and his ongoing research has studied online communities and how these pattern exposure to and participation in online extremism. He has published eight books or edited books and more than 100 articles, book chapters, or research reports in the areas of terrorism and violent extremism, criminology, the sociology of drugs, the sociology of policing, disaster research, and research methodologies. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the National Funding Collaboration on Violence Prevention, and several foundations. He has conducted dozens of interviews for various local, national, and international media outlets, and his work has been cited in media outlets in countries from around the world. Hawdon earned a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. From 1992 to 2004, he was a faculty member at Clemson University, where he served as graduate director from 1995 to 2004 and director of the Lab for Survey Research from 1993 to 1999. He joined Virginia Tech in 2004 and served as the director of graduate studies from 2005 until 2011, when he became director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention.


Charly Salonius-Pasternak

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Charly Salonius-Pasternak is a Leading Researcher at FIIA and leads the work of the Center on US Politics and Power (CUSPP). His work at FIIA focuses on international security issues, especially Nordic and transatlantic security (including NATO), as well as U.S. foreign and defence policy. Recently he has focused on Finnish-Swedish defence cooperation and the evolution of US and NATO alliance reassurance approaches in light of the changed regional security situation. In 2017, he was a visiting research fellow at the Changing Character of War programme at Pembroke College (Oxford University), where he studied the hybridization of warfare and the impact of the Information Age on the character of war.