Congratulations to our PhD student Alessandro Saluppo, whose article Lotta di classe nel Delta. Dove nasce lo squadrismo has appeared in Mondoperaio, a prestigious Italian journal of politics and culture. The article examines the origins and dynamics of fascist violence in the province of Ferrara. Alessandro wrote to us with an abstract of the article in English.
Abstract: “In the biennium, 1921-1922, Fascist paramilitary squads in the province of Ferrara launched a ferocious campaign of destruction against the organizational structures of the labor movement, which had no equal in Italy. The relentless nature and appalling toll of punitive expeditions, beatings, selective murders, body mutilations, kidnappings, arsons and the enforced administration of castor oil caused the rapid disintegration of one of the most powerful “bastions of revolutionary socialism” in the country, spearheading the offensive of Fascism in Northern and Central Italy. Drawing from analytical concepts developed by the phenomenological program of social science violence research, political sociology and anthropology, the article focuses on the origins, dynamics and forms of squadristi violence in the agricultural areas of Ferrara. It emphasizes the convergence between local and supra-local interests and the ambiguous interaction between political, private and criminal motivations in the logics of violence. Finally, the article retraces the effects of squadristi violence on local communities and the ways it disintegrated traditional forms of rural solidarity and cohesion, transformed social identities and reconfigured political spaces.”