Italy experienced several waves of terrorism (extreme right-wing, extreme left-wing, state terrorism) during the 1960s and 1980s. In order to understand the shift towards illegal political militancy and armed action, we conducted a qualitative sociological survey with 33 activists from extra-parliamentary left-wing organizations. We have highlighted the forms of «identity work» that led them from legal political action to clandestine militancy, which has enabled us to offer both a critical perspective on the literature dedicated to the Red Brigades. We also underline the prevalence of the phenomena of «identity amplification» over those of «identity appropriation» and «identity transformation» or even «search for identity».
Parole chiave: terrorism, violence, «identity work», Italy, Red Brigades, terrorism, violence, identity work, Italy, Red Brigades