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VOL. XVII, Issue 2

Public Health Crisis and Hate Crimes: Deciphering the Proliferation of Anti-Asian Violence in the US Before and During Covid-19

The substantial increase in far-right violence in the United States in the last few years was also manifested by the intensification of attacks against Asian American communities and individuals. This trend was especially evident during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current paper utilises a natural experimental design and a multitude of analyses (descriptive, geospatial, and advanced regressions) to illustrate the intricate combination of factors that facilitated anti-Asian violence during the pandemic and the various paths in which public health crises may enhance the persecution of minorities. The findings illustrate that the main drivers of anti-Asian violence are not related to changing focus among organised hate groups, but to environmental and economic stress factors which combine with existing xenophobic narratives, have legitimised anti-Asian violence. Additionally, we identified a clear association between othering rhetoric, also operationalised by President’s Trump kung flu remarks and the subsequent increase in anti-Asian violence. Overall, our findings provide important insights into our understanding of the endogenous and exogenous factors that facilitate hate-related violence against minorities during public health crises.


About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…