Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Raymond Izarali

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. James Popham

Advisor Role

Second Reader


As literature and media findings suggest, right-wing extremism has been a growing threat to the security of Canada. This qualitative research study seeks to develop a better understanding of the way Canadian right-wing white nationalists develop online in order to aid future radicalization research. After the tragic attacks on September 11th, 2001, radicalization research has largely been focused on Islamist extremism. By utilizing a conventional content analysis approach to the open-sourced white nationalist discussion forum,, this thesis bridges the gap between the understanding of Islamist extremism and right-wing white nationalists. Ten Canadian white nationalists active on the stormfront forums were examined from the 2008 to 2018 period in order to understand the impact of online radicalization on Canadian white nationalists. The results provided a six-stage Canadian white nationalist development path. Findings from the content analysis were analyzed in comparison to the four-stage al Qaeda inspired radicalization pathway presented by Marc Sageman (2008) in order to aid future radicalization pathway research. Results from this study suggest that similar group dynamics and social processes of Islamist extremists that were identified by Marc Sageman may also help to explain the development of Canadian white nationalists given the similarities in themes found between Marc Sageman’s radicalization pathway and that of the Canadian white nationalist pathway developed in this thesis. The findings suggest that future research could benefit from the parallel radicalization themes by having a greater focus on the interpersonal social processes of radicalization to violence rather than the type of ideology.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Criminology Commons