The Inconsistent Usage of the Terms “Extremism” and “Terrorism” Around the Christchurch Mosque Attacks

Authors: Vandenberg, H. & Hoverd, W.
Published in National Security Journal, 12 June 2020


1 Joel Achenbach. (2019). Two Mass Killings a World Apart Share a Common Theme: ‘Ecofascism’. The Washington Post. Available at

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John Battersby & Rhys Ball. (2019). Christchurch in the context of New Zealand terrorism and right wing extremism. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 14 (3), 191-207.

Tina Besley & Michael Peters. (2020). Terrorism Trauma, Tolerance: Bearing Witness to white supremacist attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 52(2), 109-119.

Jessie Blackbourn, Nicola McGarrity, & Kent Roach. (2019). Understanding and Responding to Right Wing Terrorism. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 14(3), 183-190.

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Diala Hawi, Danny Osborne, Joseph Bulbulia, & Chris Sibley. (2019). Terrorism Anxiety and Attitudes Towards Muslims. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 47(1), 80-89.
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William Hoverd. (2019). The Changing New Zealand National Security Environment: New Threats, New Structures, and New Research. National Security Journal, 1(2019), 17-34.

Rebecca Kitteridge. (2019a). NZSIS Welcomes Inquiry into the Christchurch Terrorist Attacks. New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. Available at

Zahra Mirnajafi & Fiona Kate Barlow. (2019). Beyond Tokenistic Solidarity in the Wake of the Christchurch Terrorist Attacks: Insights from Psychology, and Practical Suggestions for Action. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 47(1), 47-55. Available at

Winston Peters. (2019). Winston Peters Speech to Commemorate the Christchurch Mosque Attacks. Available at

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2 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. (2020) Countering terrorism and violent extremism national strategy (CTVENS). Available at Subsequent references to this document will be DPMC CTVENS.

3 David Lowe. (2017). Prevent Strategies: The Problems Associated in Defining Extremism: The Case of the United Kingdom, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 40:11, 917-933, DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2016.1253941

4 Boaz Ganor. (2002). Defining Terrorism: Is One Man’s Terrorist Another Man’s Freedom Fighter? Police Practice and Research, 3:4, 287- 304, DOI: 10.1080/1561426022000032060 and Muhammad Feyyaz (2019) Terrorism Can and Should be Defined. But How?, Strategic Analysis, 43:4, 310-327, DOI: 10.1080/09700161.2019.1626581

5 Battersby & Ball, pp.191-207.

6 Recep Onursal & Daniel Kirkpatrick. (2019). Is Extremism the ‘New’ Terrorism? the Convergence of ‘Extremism’ and ‘Terrorism’ in British Parliamentary Discourse, Terrorism and Political Violence, DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2019.1598391


8 Imran Awan. (2013). Extremism, Radicalisation and Terrorism. In I. Awan & B. Blakemore (Eds.), Extremism, Counter-Terrorism and Policing. Ashgate Publishing.

9 Ibid.,

10 Jayde Walker. (2017). An Introduction to Countering Violent Extremism. Practice: The New Zealand Corrections Journal, 5(2), 1-6. Available at

11 Astrid Bötticher. (2017). Towards Academic Consensus Definitions of Radicalism and Extremism. Perspectives on Terrorism, 11(4), 73-77.

12 Alan Greene. (2017) “Defining Terrorism: One Size Fits All?” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 66, no 2: 411-40.

13 Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (2020). DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Available at, p.15.