Specialized Themes

Living for Terror, Living with Terrorism
Session code
Date Time
Wednesday, August 24th / 14.00-17.30
Armando Pitassio
Collegium Minus, XVII

The theme of terrorism has recently attracted particular attention from scholars in various disciplines. The interest of historians, however, has above all concentrated on the last two centuries, and this is the period on which the attention of the panel is focussed. Their objective is to analyse two specific aspects of the phenomenon of terrorism. The first step is to study the development of the individual perpetrators of terrorism. The objects of the study will therefore be the social extraction of the terrorists, their level of education, their cultural and political upbringing, the path which led to their adherence to the terrorist organizations and their role within the same. The second aspect of interest is the reaction of society (public and mass media opinions, political organizations, religious institutions etc.) to the terrorists’ actions (supine acceptance, passive resistance, active rejection, passive and active collaboration etc.): in this context particular importance should be attached to the behaviour of the “collective citizenship” towards democratic freedoms when terrorism involves countries with representative democracies, but also the support or indifference for the nationalistic motivations claimed by terrorists when their actions are carried out within countries subject to foreign domination. The members of the panel will carry out their research via a series of case studies conducted in various times and geographical areas, from the end of the 19th Century to the present day, in Europe, the Middle East and the USA.