chapter  Chapter 51
The process of disengaging the Italian left-wing armed groups from political violence
ByLorenzo Bosi, Donatella Della Porta
Pages 8

In Italy, left-wing political violence in the 1970s was rooted in the massive upsurge of the student movement and the workers' struggle of 1968–69, and their perceived failure to bring about broad social and political change. The immediate reasons behind the defeats of the Italian left-wing armed groups were that their militants were killed, imprisoned or forced to quit while no new recruits were available to join anymore. The abandonment of political violence by their militants proceeded, however, through an often complex process of disengagement. The societal de-escalation mechanism and de-escalating policies worked together as at the same time the two most consequential mechanisms and those from which the process of disengagement started. While societal de-escalation and de-escalating policies worked in close concert with one another, they were also important in triggering organizational disbandment and individual de-capsulation.