Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program

Government and Legal Studies

First Advisor

Túlio Zille


The alt-right is a hyper-extreme, decentralized network of far-right pundits and their doggish supporters that exists almost entirely online. Consumed by conspiracy and identity, the myths of bigoted ideologies like racism, antisemitism, and transphobia are taken for granted, and their ideology calls for violent ends by violent means. In the physical world, members of the alt-right often keep their rhetoric to themselves; Online, however, they find solace in a vast, international network of websites and forums that together form one giant echo chamber into which they can dump their darkest thoughts. Though any individual member of the alt-right may operate uniquely within the context of their home country, together they form a collective, international voice whose strongest claims often transcend borders and resist state-level analysis. Unspeakable acts of violence like mass shootings, senseless killings, and acts of terrorism are unpredictable but become significantly more likely when the rhetorical atmosphere breeds hostility. By demonizing minority groups and spreading ideologies of hate, the alt-right makes these acts of violence more likely. On massive platforms like Twitter, the alt-right’s rhetoric can seep into mainstream conversations; their framing of concepts like race, gender, sexuality, and national identity are forced into relevance. Their rhetoric is euphemistic, but their message is clear, and their hate poses a real threat to people’s lives. This honors project explores the ideological and geographic features of the alt-right and their international implications, concluding that the alt-right is a globally interconnected group of actors whose conspiracies motivate lone-wolf terrorists worldwide.