Democracy and Disorder: Protest and Politics in Italy, 1965-1975
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This is a study of the cycle of protest that swept across Italy from the late 1960s through the early 1970s. Using a variety of newspaper, archival, and interview materials, and combining quantitative time-series techniques with historical and ideological analyses, Tarrow shows how protest spread from the student and worker movements to virtually every sector of Italian society, and gave rise to "extraparliamentary" groups, violence, and finally, a return to traditional political patterns. Despite the violence and disorder, Tarrow demonstrates that the major result of the cycle was to increase the repertoire of participation and to contribute to a consolidation of Italian democracy.
numerical decline does not mean that they needed to be inert or politically insignificant; in France, as Suzanne Berger has shown, shopkeepers made up an important part of the protesting population after 1968 (1984). The relative absence of this group from the protests in Italy suggests that they were protected against the economic and social turbulence of these years by their centrality to the DC’s social coalition. It was only towards the end of the period, as governments searched for ways to
the 1960s, continued to expand across the turn of the decade, and contracted as the period ended. A C TO R S, E N E M IE S , A ND T H E S TA TE 109 number F ig . 4.4 Presence of different groups of actors in protest events, 1966-73. Figure 4.4 verifies that young people were both early participants and the most consistently present in protests, and that workers— who appear somewhat later—were present for almost as long.23 The educated middle strata and territorial groups’ participation grew
strategy of alliances with both political and social elements (S. Heilman 1975; Tarrow 1967). The idea of a single national student organization, which would express the students* solidarity and autonomy, was perfectly compatible with its proposals, and in fact first appeared within the UGI. The PCI could not oppose a single national student union, yet such an innovation had the potential to give the radical students a forum in which to challenge party control. I l l T H E YEAR OF VIETNAM The
situation—on the one hand, gains in industrial production, exports, and productivity; on the other, low invest ment, flat internal demand, stepped-up work rhythms—found the unions in a weak position. Indeed, management’s strategy of increas ing productivity by intensifying work rhythms was possible only because it had successfully excluded the unions from the factories during the 1950s (Salvati 1976: 707). Productivity was increased, Salvati writes, ‘by using the most modern portion of existing
Operaia (Turin), Lotta di Classe (Ivrea) and Potere Operaio (Porto Marghera) began to appear outside factory gates around T urin’s Mirafiori, Porto Marghera’s Petrolchi mico, and Massa’s Olivetti plants. In these documents the theme of worker centrality was joined with a critique of the PCI’s interclassism and with demands for autonomy from the unions. For example, the lead article of the first issue of Potere Operaio of Porto Marghera was entitled ‘Worker’s Autonomy against the Plan: No to the