The red and the black: Terrorism in Contemporary Italy

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Since 1969 Italy has suffered through the worst epidemic of terrorist violence in the Western world. The extreme left and the extreme right have been involved in this violence, which remains a fundamentally mysterious phenomenon. Economic, political, and psychological theories, as well as theories of conspiracy, all fail to provide an adequate account of Italian terrorism. The author contends that Italy's culture of violence-that is, the long-standing intellectual tradition that seeks to make violence “photogenic”- has played a critical and generally ignored role in the Italian terrorism of our time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-298
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1984


1. The conference, held in April 1983, was entitled "Violenza politica e terrorismo in Italia dal '69 all '83." It was sponsored by the region of Emilia Romagna and the Istituto Carlo Cattaneo.

FundersFunder number
Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lombardia and Emilia Romagna "Bruno Ubertini"


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