Date of Graduation

Fall 11-30-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Anne Louise Bartlett


On July 22nd 2011 Norway was shocked by the first terrorist attacks on Norwegian soil since the German occupation during World War II. As Norway is internationally renowned as a peaceful and idyllic society the terrorist attacks, questions of why the attacks took place in Norway arose. My thesis examines which societal factors in Norway have contributed to Anders Behring Breivik's terrorist attacks in Oslo and on Utøya, July 22nd 2011. To do so, I have employed qualitative content analysis of newspaper articles which has allowed me to extract themes relevant to determine which factors in the Norwegian society have influenced Behring Breivik. Through this analysis I found the following primary recurrent themes; rejection of the right wing by Norwegian society, political censorship of the right wing, dismissal of Behring Breivik as insane and the prevalence of xenophobic sentiments, primarily directed at Muslims, in Norwegian society. Based on these themes I have identified exclusion of the right wing in addition to the prevalence of xenophobic sentiments in Norwegian society have had an effect on Behring Breivik's radicalization into a terrorist.

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Title page

Abstract.docx (11 kB)

Included in

Criminology Commons