Safe territories and violent political organizations
Title: Safe territories and violent political organizations
Author: BOSI, Lorenzo
Citation: Nationalism and ethnic politics, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 80-101
This article assesses how the concept of safe territory can expand our understanding of the persistence of, and eventual disengagement from, violence by violent political organizations. The explanatory utility of this concept is demonstrated through an analysis of the cycles of political violence perpetrated by the Red Brigades in Italy and the Provisional Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland. This work offers two main illustrative hypotheses. First, the opportunities provided by safe territories are not necessarily conducive to the continuation of political violence, although they facilitate its persistence over a long period of time. Second, the presence of safe territories, regardless of the ideology of the violent political organization, tends to enforce disengagement from political violence at the group, rather than the individual, level. Finally, the analytical intent in introducing the concept of safe territory is to contribute to spatial understandings of political violence.
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