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Italian Neofascism

The Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Nonreconciliation

Anna Cento Bull

196 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-335-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (January 2008)

ISBN  978-0-85745-174-3 $27.95/£19.00 Pb Published (December 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-042-5 eBook

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“Anna Cento Bull’s scrupulously researched book casts a revealing laser beam of scholarly light (especially for monolingual Anglophone scholars concerned with modern extremism or Italian politics) on a permutation of right-wing extremism intent on remaining much more faithful to the original revolutionary matrix.” · Patterns of Prejudice

“…a solid contribution to studying postwar European politics, examining the problems and failures of reconciliation as well as providing an insightful look at the neofascist’s Strategy of Tension.” · Terrorism and Political Violence

"The conclusion [that national reconciliation remains a distant target] leaves a bitter taste for the Italian reader, but it is the logical outcome of a rigorous and well documented analysis that has offered new insight into the troublesome question of Italian national identity.” · South European Society and Politics

During the Cold War Italy witnessed the existence of an anomalous version of a civil conflict, defined as a 'creeping' or a 'low-intensity' civil war. Political violence escalated, including bomb attacks against civilians, starting with a massacre in Milan, on 12 December 1969, and culminating with the massacre in Bologna, on 2 August 1980. Making use of the literature on national reconciliation and narrative psychology theory, this book examines the fight over the 'judicial' and the 'historical' truth in Italy today, through a contrasting analysis of judicial findings and the 'narratives of victimhood' prevalent among representatives of both the post- and the neo-fascist right.

Anna Cento Bull is Professor of Italian History and Politics at the University of Bath. Her publications include Social Identities and Political Cultures in Italy (Oxford: Berghahn, 2000); The Lega Nord and The Northern Question in Italian Politics (London: Palgrave, 2001) (with M. Gilbert) and Speaking Out and Silencing: Culture, Society and Politics in Italy in the 1970s. (Legenda: Oxford, 2005) (edited jointly with A. Giorgio).

Subject: Postwar History
Area: Southern Europe

LC: JC481 .C39 2007

BL: YC.2009.a.2701

BISAC: HIS020000 HISTORY/Europe/Italy; HIS037080 HISTORY/Modern/21st Century; POL042030 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Political Ideologies/Fascism & Totalitarianism

BIC: JPFQ Fascism & Nazism; HBLW3 Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000


List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1. Introduction


Introduction to Part I

Chapter 2. The Role of Italian Neofascism in Stragismo and the Strategy of Tension
Chapter 3. The Role of the Armed Forces and Intelligence Structures
Chapter 4. Interpretations of the Strategy of Tension in Accordance with Judicial Findings

Conclusion to Part I


Introduction to Part II

Chapter 5. Narratives of Victimhood: The Right's Reconstructions and Interpretations of Stragismo
Chapter 6. The Self-narratives of Extreme-right Protagonists of the Political Conflict

Conclusion to Part II

Chapter 7. Conclusion


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