Lessons Learned or a Missed Opportunity? Norway After the 22 July Terrorist Attack

  • Thomas Hylland Eriksen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology book series (PSEPS)


The 22 July 2011 terrorist attack in Norway, which killed 77 persons, was carried out by a right-wing extremist bent on reducing the influence of Islam in the country, ultimately aiming at a total removal of Muslims from the country. Instead of confronting his version of Norwegian nationalism, shared by a substantial minority of the population (although they would not condone his actions), authorities, media and civil society diverted attention from the ideological contents of the attack mainly in two ways: by focusing on the terrorist as an individual and by organising public manifestations of love and compassion for the victims and the bereaved. This chapter argues the presence of a deep ideological rift in Norwegian society, between a nativist and a cosmopolitan social ontology, concluding that it needs to be acknowledged and addressed openly.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Hylland Eriksen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway

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