Breaking the silence, challenging the official discourse: the torture of far-left militants during the 1970s-80s in Italy and its denials

Journal article


Rossi, F. (2023). Breaking the silence, challenging the official discourse: the torture of far-left militants during the 1970s-80s in Italy and its denials. Justice, Power and Resistance . pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1332/LYRB2482
AuthorsRossi, F.
Abstract

Drawing on critical literature on state violence, torture and social movements, and based on archival documents and secondary sources, this article explores the cases of torture of far-left militants during the 1970s-80s in Italy. It shows that these cases are still surrounded by silence, despite recent revelations and confessions by police officers, and analyses mechanisms of denial and recurrent tropes in the official discourse that contributed to shield state institutions and silence testimonies. It engages with the ‘emergency’ as a legal and discursive paradigm, creating socio-political conditions that enabled state violence and sustained its denial. Finally, it challenges the liberal approaches that postulate the incompatibility of liberal democratic government with state violence and reminds the key role played by solidarity campaigns and mobilisations to condemn torture and demand truth and accountability.

Keywordstorture; denial; state violence; liberal democracy; mobilisation
Year2023
JournalJustice, Power and Resistance
Journal citationpp. 1-17
PublisherBristol University Press
ISSN2635-2338
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1332/LYRB2482
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1332/LYRB2482
Publication dates
Print29 May 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited26 May 2023
Accepted26 May 2023
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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