The Movement of 1977 in Italy

L. FALCIOLA, Il movimento del 1977 in Italia, Roma, Carocci, 2015

In the whole Western world the experience of the “movements of 1968” declined by the mid-1970s, together with the faith in utopian ideologies. By contrast in Italy, in 1977, a generation of left-wing militants still believed in the possibility of a political revolution and made a last attempt to collectively subvert society. As a consequence, a movement open to audacious cultural experimentations, but also extremely violent, took shape. The experience of the so-called “movement of 1977” raises two main questions that scholarship, so far, did not fully address: on one hand, the reasons of such atypical and belated mobilization; on the other hand, the mechanisms of its hasty and intense radicalization and violent escalation.

In the first part, the volume analyzes the key factors that raised indignation and drew people into the streets. For example, the paralysis and the growing corruption of the political élites, the failure of both the Communist Party and the New Left in achieving any revolutionary goal, and the boom of higher education, together with the rapid decline of its capacity of social promotion. Additionally, the research describes how the movement of 1977 tuned in to the spirit of the time, by expressing disenchantment vis-à-vis purely ideological militancy and by putting forth private–if not hedonistic–grievances.

In the second part, the book deals with the two factors that, more than any others, propelled the violent escalation. On one hand, the research brings to light the ideological legitimation of violence characterizing the large majority of movement’s components. On the other hand, it demonstrates the way through which an unselective and severe protest policing significantly nurtured the frames of injustice among leftist militants and fostered the idea of an armed response against state authorities. Ultimately, the book claims that the magnitude of Italian leftist violence can be entirely understood only considering the movement of 1977 as a widespread “radical milieu,” which embedded armed groups, giving (often unintentionally) meaning and legitimacy to their programs, and providing them with moral and logistic support.

More details on the book:

Selected media coverage and reviews:


Gabutti_Sette_Corriere della Sera_ITA



Grispigni_il manifesto_ITA

Carioti_la Lettura_Corriere della Sera_ITA

Messina_Corriere della Sera_ITA

Panvini_Il mestiere di storico_ITA

Gagliardi_Mondo Contemporaneo_ITA


2016 SISSCO award opera prima

premio di rosa 2016


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