Political Influence on Hate Crimes

Political Influence on Hate Crimes - Political Influence on...

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Political Influence on Hate Crimes Dr. Fetzer Political Science 353 April 13, 2008
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Political Influence on Hate Crimes Hate crimes indirectly refer to racially motivated crimes, anti-foreigner violence, or heterosexist violence. An even more broad explanation of these criminal acts is the unlawful conduct directed at various groups based on their ethnic or religious background that include acts of violence, trespassing, harassment, or the destruction of property (Green 481). The topic of hate crimes has been an interesting topic to research because of the extraordinary tension and extreme opinions on the issue. A surprising and very detrimental aspect of this study has been the limited statistical resources and country- wide data that are presently available. Furthermore, the severity and definition of hate crimes seem to be interpreted in various ways causing my sources of data to vary depending on the particular author’s definition. These factors, however, do not impede on the substantial importance and relevance that this topic holds in the continent of Europe and the world. Europe has encountered a significant share of problems both on the local and country-wide level because of the tensions of racism and hate crimes. To better understand both hate crimes and European society it is necessary to evaluate scholarly theories on this issue. I will provide an overview of these various opinions but will test my own theory which is shared by Koopman and other scholars: If racist political parties are more active and receive more political representation then less hate crimes will occur. There are several theories as to why hate crimes are so prevalent in European society. First, and most obvious is the political history and culture of racial violence that dominated Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. Hitler’s Nazi regime has had a drastic influence on nationalism and the view of minorities that has altered Europe’s perception on race. --------------- Finally, an argument has been created to explain the powerful existence of such hate crimes in correspondence to the social movement theory. This
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