Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) News

UG study sheds new light on extremism in Northern Netherlands

28 November 2022

New forms of extremism are on the rise in the Northern Netherlands. Jihadism only plays a limited role in the three northern provinces, according to a research report that will be published today. The report was drawn up by UG researchers Pieter Nanninga, Leonie de Jonge, and Fleur Valk, by order of the Municipality of Groningen.

'New forms of extremism are on the rise in the Northern Netherlands' (Foto ANP/Hollandse Hoogte, Robin Utrecht)
'New forms of extremism are on the rise in the Northern Netherlands' (Foto ANP/Hollandse Hoogte, Robin Utrecht)

Limited role of jihadism

Public perception and policy often place the emphasis on jihadism, but the research shows that it only plays a limited role in extremist manifestations in the three northern provinces. Traditional forms of right-wing and left-wing extremism have likewise only surfaced in a limited way.

Extremism in the region

The researchers conclude that new forms of extremism are on the rise in the Northern Netherlands, in particular anti-government extremism that regularly cross-pollinates with right-wing extremism. This development has led to a rising number of extremism-related incidents in the region, varying from threats and vandalism to an attack on a journalist. Today’s forms of extremism are variable in terms of organizational forms and ideologies. The boundaries between legitimate activism and extremism are fluid. Extremist manifestations are often related to concrete problems, for example the coronavirus, nitrogen, and asylum seekers debates. At the same time, they need to be seen as a sign of a wider shared societal discontent in the region.


The Northern Netherlands approach to extremism is shown to be in line with the national frameworks and is largely seen as positive by the interviewed professionals. At the same time, researchers conclude that there is a discrepancy between the phenomenon and the approach to it. As a consequence of the perception of the national frameworks and training courses, the focus of the local approach still strongly lies on jihadism, while more recent forms of extremism are often not recognized as such. In order to address the recent developments regarding radicalization and extremism in the region in an adequate fashion, we need more awareness, expertise, and capacity.

More information

E. (Elies) Kouwenhoven

Last modified:29 November 2022 2.20 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 16 April 2024

    UG signs Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

    In a significant stride toward advancing responsible research assessment and open science, the University of Groningen has officially signed the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information.

  • 02 April 2024

    Flying on wood dust

    Every two weeks, UG Makers puts the spotlight on a researcher who has created something tangible, ranging from homemade measuring equipment for academic research to small or larger products that can change our daily lives. That is how UG...

  • 18 March 2024

    VentureLab North helps researchers to develop succesful startups

    It has happened to many researchers. While working, you suddenly ask yourself: would this not be incredibly useful for people outside of my own research discipline? There are many ways to share the results of your research. For example, think of a...