International Research Network on the Revolutionary Left
One of the most promising recent trends in historical research on political violence is the study of waves of revolutionary violence proposed by David C. Rapoport. This author has defined these waves as international cycles of activity of about forty-year of length, guided by a common revolutionary “ethos”. From these features Rapoport has identified four waves of revolutionary violence in modern societies since the last third of the nineteenth century: the anarchist, the anticolonial that began in the twenties, the “New Left” between the sixties and eighties, and the religious terrorism that started in the late seventies and extends to the present.
By emphasizing the links between organizations and groups from different countries and regions of the world in a specific time frame, this approach represents a stimulus to put the study of political violence in a comparative and transnational perspective, that makes possible the communication of research findings among experts working on the study of the dynamics of political violence in the same historical period, but in different geographical contexts.
Therefore, we propose this perspective in order to establish an academic dialogue about the origins, development, and decline of the wave of violence of the “New Left” in Latin America and Europe. We intend to favor the adoption of transnational perspectives to explore the links- ideological, material, and personal- between organizations and groups within and between the two continents. We especially pursue delving into issues such as the spread of ideas and repertoires of action, the collaboration, support or solidarity between organizations, and comparative perspectives that would allow us to find possible common patterns of emergence, development and disappearance of armed groups within the wave of the “New Left”.