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By Donatella della Porta

This booklet offers empirical examine at the nature and constitution of political violence. whereas such a lot stories of social events concentrate on single-nation reviews, Donatella della Porta makes use of a comparative learn layout to research hobbies in countries--Italy and Germany--from the Sixties to the Nineteen Nineties. via wide use of reliable files and in-depth interviews, della Porta is ready to clarify the actors' building of exterior political truth, and to construct a concept on political violence that synthesizes a number of the interactions between political actors.

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Additional resources for Social Movements, Political Violence, and the State: A Comparative Analysis of Italy and Germany

Sample text

In order to understand the peculiar characteristics of individual participation in the most militant forms of collective action, I distinguish between cognitive and affective dynamics. Looking at the specific countercultures from which the radical activists emerged, I single out elements of what Berger and Luckman (1966) define as the construction of external reality. In particular, I focus on the militants' perceptions of external reality, that is, the way in which individuals perceive political events and collective actors, and the influence of small-group dynamics on the general political culture.

Chapter 4 analyzes the organizational evolution of radical social movement organizations from the days of the student movement through the phases of violent escalation. " In following the evolutionary stages of the radical groups - some of which ended up in the underground - I stress that the radicalization of political behavior is a gradual, selective, and interactive process. In describing internal dynamics, a main element in the interactive process, I demonstrate how the scarcity of material incentives, the heterogeneity of the mobilization potential, and the alternation of mobilization and latency produced intense competition among movement organizations.

Within the institution), with more innovatory forms of action (sit-ins and go-ins). The repertoire of action Protest and violence in Italy: 1960-90 27 and the ideology of the protest gradually changed as the movement interacted with other groups: from the hostile right-wing groups to the supportive factory activists. 3 Consequently, a spontaneous type of violence developed. The "need for selfdefense" became a relevant - albeit contested - issue. If the need for a revolution in the future was a common belief, opinions as to how to deal with repression in the present diverged widely.

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