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Sophie Bjork-James has over ten years of experience researching both the US based Religious Right and the white nationalist movements. She is the co-editor of Beyond Populism: Angry Politics and the Twilight of Neoliberalism (West Virginia University Press, 2020) and the author of The Divine Institution: White Evangelicalism’s Politics of the Family (Rutgers University Press, 2021). Bjork-James' work has appeared in American Anthropologist, Oxford Bibliographies, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, and Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Bjork-James has appeared on the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s All Things Considered, and BBC Radio 4’s Today.
"For decades far-right groups have sought to undermine democratic processes. White nationalists and other authoritarian groups seek to defend white power and male power, thus often see democracy as a barrier to their goals. What we saw on January 6th is an acceleration of these goals. The dramatic success of rioters gaining access to the Capital will likely lead to more attempts to disrupt democratic institutions. While security will certainly be increased at the US Capital building, state capitals will likely be targets in the future. Along with last year's thwarted kidnapping attempt of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, elected officials will likely continue to face security risks from these movements. Images of far-right and racist actors desecrating the center of democratic power will also serve as powerful propaganda and recruitment tools for the foreseeable future."