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NCJ Number: 84242 Find in a Library
Title: Psychiatric Aspects of Terrorism in Italy (From Mad, the Bad, and the Different, P 199-213, 1981, Israel L Barak-Glantz et al, ed. - See NCJ-84231)
Author(s): F Ferracuti; F Bruno
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This discussion of the psychopathological and sociopolitical aspects of Italian terrorism includes the presentation of a dynamic model of the individual and social etiological factors associated with psychopathological terrorism and of its consequences for the sociopolitical system.
Abstract: In Italy, terrorism is divided into two main ideological cores with different psychiatric aspects. 'Red' terrorism, which is the more diffuse and deeply entrenched, has an ideological matrix that can be defined as Marxist or neo-Marxist and can be further differentiated into two levels. The first level, which is highly organized, has a pure Leninist derivation and a rigid conceptual and operational dogmatism. The second level, largely represented by the so-called Autonomia, has more tenuous organizational boundaries and a new-Marxist derivation characterized by soft boundaries open to contributions from many different sources. The philosophy of Autonomia rests on the ideological tenets of the rejection of work and the proclamation of so-called basic rights. Available case histories rarely show that left-wing terrorists suffer from serious personality defects. Right-wing terrorism in Italy, on the other hand, has adherents characterized by authoritarian-extremist personalities which make this terrorism particularly unpredictable and destructive. Terrorists generally have the fantasy goal of overcoming anomie (isolation from the values and patterns of the existing sociopolitical system) and establishing a new order, and commitment to terrorism only increases this anomie, thus further fueling terrorist ideology and subculture. The likelihood of terrorism increases as the social and political values of a system are either rigid and inflexible or so permissive as to provide a vacuum that various ideological groups seek to fill. The latter circumstance appears to characterize Italy at the moment. The model of individual and environmental etiologies of pathological terrorism is graphically portrayed, and 10 notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Italy; Psychological theories; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Terrorist profiles
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