Radical Milieu, Violence, and Terrorism in Italy

(2015) “From Legitimation to Rejection of Violence: The Shifting Stance of the Radical Milieu in Italy During the 1970s,” in Lorenzo Bosi, Niall Ó Dochartaigh, and Daniela Pisoiu, eds., Political Violence in Context: Time, Space and Milieu, Colchester: ECPR Press, pp. 253–276  Full text: falciola_2015_political violence in context

Theories of the radical milieu emphasize that armed organizations depend heavily on their constituencies for moral and practical sustenance. Active supporters and sympathizers contribute to shaping identities, defining incentives, and establishing norms of expected behaviours. To achieve a better understanding of the relationship between violent fringes and radical milieu, the present research investigates the following two aspects: 1) the conditions under which the radical milieu is more likely to encourage armed groups’ violence and the way this support is both expressed and perceived; 2) which factors may foster a change of orientation within the radical milieu and drive it towards a more critical attitude vis-à-vis violence. This chapter analyses the case of the Italian leftist armed groups of the 1970s and their supportive environment.

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