Rowman and Littlefield International

Political Violence in Context

Time, Space and Milieu

Edited by Lorenzo Bosi, Niall Ó Dochartaigh, and Daniela Pisoiu

Context is crucial to understanding the causes of political violence and the form it takes. This book examines how time, space and supportive milieux decisively shape the pattern and pace of such violence.

Hardback ISBN: 9781785521447 Release date: Jan 2016
£30.00 €41.00 $100.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781785522376 Release date: Oct 2016
£30.00 €41.00 $44.95

Pages: 324

ECPR Press

While much of the work in this field focuses on individual psychology or radical ideology, Bosi, Ó Dochartaigh, Pisoiu and others take a fresh, innovative look at the importance of context in generating mobilisation and shaping patterns of violence. The cases dealt with range widely across space and time, from Asia, Africa and Europe to the Americas, and from the Irish rebellion of 1916 through the Marxist insurgency of Sendero Luminoso to the ‘Invisible Commando' of Côte d'Ivoire. They encompass a wide range of types of violence, from separatist guerrillas through Marxist insurgents and Islamist militants to nationalist insurrectionists and the distinctive forms of urban violence that have emerged at the boundary between crime and politics. Chapters offer new theoretical perspectives on the decisive importance of the spatial and temporal contexts, and supportive milieux, in which parties to conflict are embedded, and from which they draw strength.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Contributors ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Chapter One – Contextualising Political Violence 1

Lorenzo Bosi, Niall Ó Dochartaigh and Daniela Pisoiu


Chapter Two – Political Violence in Time 15

Lorenzo Bosi

Chapter Three – What’s so Transformative about Transformative Events?

Violence and Temporality in Ireland’s 1916 Rising 23

Donagh Davis

Chapter Four – Multiple Temporalities in Violent Conflicts:

Northern Ireland, the Basque Country and Macedonia 43

Joseph Ruane and Jennifer Todd

Chapter Five – Temporal Factors in Prosecutions for Political Violence:

The New Left in Japan and the United States 67

Patricia Steinhoff and Gilda Zwerman

Chapter Six – Remembering Violence: Four Cases of Contentious Memory

in the Italian and Spanish Student Movements of the 1960s and 1970s 89

Lorenzo Zamponi


Chapter Seven – Spatial Contexts for Political Violence 115

Niall Ó Dochartaigh

Chapter Eight – Fighting the War on Two Fronts: Shining Path

and the Peruvian Civil War, 1980–95 125

Luis De la Calle

vi Political Violence in Context

Chapter Nine – The Effects of Social and Spatial Control on the Dynamics

of Contentious Politics in Xinjiang since the End of the 1990s 145

Aurélie Campana

Chapter Ten – Invisible Commandos, Visible Violence: Protection

and Control in the Autonomous Republic of PK18 165

Jake Lomax

Chapter Eleven – Armed Urbanism: Political Violence and Contestation in

Conflict and ‘Non-Conflict’ Cities 187

Jovana Carapic


Chapter Twelve – Political Violence in its Milieu 209

Daniela Pisoiu

Chapter Thirteen – The Emergence and Construction of the

Radical Salafi Milieu in Egypt 215

Jérôme Drevon

Chapter Fourteen – The Radical Milieu and Mass Mobilisation in the

Northern Ireland Conflict 237

Niall Ó Dochartaigh

Chapter Fifteen – From Legitimation to Rejection of Violence:

The Shifting Stance of the Radical Milieu in Italy during the 1970s 253

Luca Falciola

Chapter Sixteen – Dynamics of Radicalisation in the Relationship between

Militant Islamist Groups and their Constituencies: The Case of al-Jamaa

al-Islamiyya in Egypt, 1986–1998 277

Stefan Malthaner

Appendices – Data and Sources 299

Index 301

Lorenzo Bosi is Assistant Professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore. His research interests include social movements and political violence. He has published in several academic journals and is co-editor of Dynamics of Political Violence (Ashgate, 2014), and co-author of The Dynamics of Radicalization: A Relational Comparative Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is chair of the standing group on Political Violence of the European Consortium of Political Research.

Niall Ó Dochartaigh is Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway. He worked previously as a research officer with the International Conflict Research Centre of the University of Ulster and the United Nations University. He has published on conflict, negotiation, territory and new technologies in a range of journals and is the author of two other books: From Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the birth of the Irish Troubles (Cork 1997; Palgrave 2005) and Internet Research Skills (Sage 2002; 2007; 2012). He is convener of the Specialist Group on Peace and Conflict of the Political Studies Association of Ireland and a founding convener of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Violence. Further information is available at

Daniela Pisoiu is Researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) at the University of Hamburg. She is the author of Islamist Radicalisation in Europe: An Occupational Change Process (Routledge, 2011) and editor of the forthcoming book Arguing Counterterrorism: New Perspectives (Routledge 2014). She currently researches on subcultural aspects of radicalisation and political violence in a comparative perspective and is more broadly interested in social movement theory, terrorism and political violence, critical terrorism studies, political extremism and EU and US security policies.

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