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Encountering Violence: The Movement and the Legitimation of Violence at the Eve of Italy's anni di piombo

Pathways to radicalisationRadicalisationWorld

In re-evaluating the origins of Italian clandestine political violence groups in the early 1970s, this article sheds new light on overlapping processes of legitimation of violence that took place in that “transitional space” created by the 1968–69 social upheavals. Eschewing mono-causal explanations, this article points attention to how violence was legitimized at different levels: in the interaction between the movement and the “protest policing”; in the competing memories of the Resistenza that generated opposing extremes; and at an international/transnational level, where the Cold War and the mythology of the decolonization movements framed and inspired the choices of Italians terrorists.

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