The political legacies of resistance. How local Italian communities keep antifascist sentiments alive › view all

Lecture by Dr. Juan Masullo J.

November 09, 2022 - 13:15-14:45 (tbc)
Unicom, Conference Room 7.3280 (tbc)
Contact: Dr. Mandi Larsen
Series: Social Sciences Lecture Series
Event type: public

Social Sciences Lecture Series with Dr. Masullo J. (Leiden University) on "The political legacies of resistance. How local Italian communities keep antifascist sentiments alive".



Please note that the lecture takes place on Wednesday, November 9, from 13:15 to 14:45 h (tbc)



Do wartime experiences other than violence leave long-lasting political legacies? How are these legacies kept and sustained across generations and beyond those who directly experienced war? We explore these questions in Italy, a country whose democratic institutions were forged in the aftermath of a civil war fought between 1943 and 1945 by an armed resistance movement against Nazi and Fascist forces. We argue that the local presence and activity of resistance bands left anti-Nazi/Fascist legacies that shape political attitudes and behaviors today. Furthermore, we propose that these legacies are kept alive via a process of inter-generational, community-based transmission sustained on core mechanisms: (1) memorialization recomposes the resistance experience into a coherent narrative that legitimizes

winners and condemns losers, (2) local anchors strengthen the narrative’s local resonance and self-identification, and (3) local associational networks maintain and reinforce this narrative and build on it to mobilize community members. We empirically explore this argument by exploiting novel data from a recent nationwide, grassroots mobilization campaign – the “Anti- Fascist Law” – aimed at banning neo-fascist propaganda. We use an integrative multi-method research design that combines statistical analysis of all Italian municipalities to make sense of the campaign’s spatial patterns, with a within-case analysis of a purposively selected locality to trace the process by which legacies are kept and transmitted across generations. Our study emphasizes armed resistance as a critical source of war’s long-term political legacies and improves our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the collective transmission of political memories.



Juan Masullo J. is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University and a Research Associate at the Changing Character of War Centre at the University of Oxford.

His research focuses on the intersection of comparative politics and international relations and explores complex social dynamics in settings of political and criminal violence. In particular, he is interested in civilian agency and collective action in the face of violence (from the establishment of peace communities to the formation of vigilante groups); and in peoples’ attitudes and preferences towards different policy approaches to deal with crime and violence (from peace negotiations to militarized crackdowns). He is also interested in field research methods and research design for qualitative and mixed-methods research.

Previously, Juan Masullo J. has been a lecturer at University of Oxford and a postdoctoral researcher at BIGSSS and Yale University. He received his PhD from the EUI for which he won the 2018 Linz-Rokkan Prize. During his time at BIGSSS Juan Masullo J. offered a variety of methods courses for our doctoral fellows and participated as an expert in the BIGSSS Computational Social Science Summer School on Conflicts. 


Consultations with fellows

Juan will be offering one-on-one consultations with fellows specifically on methods, but also topically. If you would be interested, please contact Mandi Larsen directly for more information.