Alessandro Orsini’s Articles

Articles in Refereed Journal

Alessandro Orsini’s article “Are Terrorists Courageous? Micro-Sociology of Extreme Left Terrorism” contests the affirmation − based on common sense − according to which terrorists simply need courage. The typical terrorist act can be considered part of the sociological category known as “vile violence” that is the act of striking out at a victim after having placed him or her in a desperate situation that does not allow for any escape. This article is based on primary and secondary sources, such as the analysis of thirty-five homicides committed in Italy by six terrorist units of the extreme left; interviews with extreme left terrorists; interviews with victims of extreme left terrorists; autobiographies of extreme left terrorists; autobiographies of victims of extreme left terrorists; video interviews of extreme left terrorists; written statements of the investigating magistrates (“Studies in Conflict and Terrorism,” 3/2015, pp. 179-198)

Alessandro Orsini, “L’attentat de Paris et Le Renseignement,” Commentaire, Janvier-Mars, 2015, pp. 70-74. Abstract: L’attentat jihadiste contre le journal Charlie Hebdo (7 janvier 2015) et l’attentat de Copenhague qui a suivi ont soulevé trois questions qui sont du plus haut intérêt pour la sécurité des villes européennes. Al-Qaïda est-il implanté en Europe? Les services de renseignement sont-ils voués à l’échec ? Qu’est-ce que les microcellules jihadistes?

Alessandro Orsini’s article “Poverty, Ideology and Terrorism: the STAM Bond” focuses on the role of ideology in the decision of people who are not from societies’ worst-off socioeconomic groups to join a left-wing terrorist organization. Taking up the sociological perspective of Max Weber, Clifford Geertz, and Raymond Boudon, the author introduces the concept of the “terrorist of the first hour” and considers ideology as a type of social bond. The concept of ideology is here broken down into four dimensions: Social, Temporal, Affective, and Moral (STAM bond). This article also presents data on the ages, sex, educational level, and occupation of the Italian people arrested (2,730) or convicted (528) for crimes of terrorism from 1970 to 2011. Data on Italian terrorists were provided by the General Department of Prisoners of the Ministry of Justice (“Studies in Conflict and Terrorism,” 10/2012, pp. 665-692)

Alessandro Orsini’s article “A Day Among The Diehard Terrorists. The Psychological Costs of Doing Ethnographic Research” describes the experience of a sociologist who made contact with a group of diehard terrorists responsible for multiple murders in order to conduct an ethnographic study. After outlining the sociological profile of the diehard terrorists, the author—making reference to the ethnographic studies of Jack Douglas, Martin Sanchez Jankowski, and Laud Humphreys—describes how he followed their traces. The aim of the article is to analyze the psychological costs that the sociologist must pay when he interacts with men and women who, in addition to proudly claiming credit for the homicides they have committed, affirm the importance of continuing to kill in order to salvage humanity’s future (“Studies in Conflict and Terrorism,” 4/2013 pp. 337-351)

Alessandro Orsini’s article “Interview With a Terrorist by Vocation. A Day Among the Diehard Terrorists Part II” is an interview with a left wing terrorist recently freed after spending 32 years and 6 months in prison. Taking up the sociological perspective of Max Weber, the author draws a distinction between “professional terrorist” and “vocational terrorist”. The terrorist by vocation differs from the professional terrorist in his profound faith in the mission he feels he must accomplish. He does not try to improve his social status and is not interested in the selfish pursuit of personal well-being. He gives up love, family, children and friendship. When he decides to join a terrorist group, he voluntarily severs any contact with his former life. He is a high school or university graduate and might choose a secure life and a good job but prefers to kill, accepting the risk of dying. The vocational terrorist is the terrorist in his incandescent state (“Studies in Conflict and Terrorism,” 8/2013, pp. 672-684)

Alessandro Orsini, “El ISIS e la Educatión Yihadista,” Cuadernos De Pensamiento Politico, n. 45, Enero-Marzo 2015, pp. 81-92. Abstract: El autor repasa la historia y evolución de la organización terrorista suní ISIS, más conocida en España por Estado Islámico (EI), cuyo nacimiento se produjo como reacción  a la intervención occidental en Irak, y cuyo fanatismo islamista antichií ha envuelto a Irak y a una parte de Oriente Medio en una vorágine de guerra, odio sectario y violencia religiosa. El artículo se detiene concretamente en el modelo de valores conceptuales y simbólicos del grupo terrorista, incluyendo su sistema educativo, sus medios de comunicación y la organización social que preconiza.

Alessandro Orsini, “Boko Haram Y Las Raices Del Yihadismo En Nigeria,” Cuadernos De Pensamiento Politico, n. 46, Abril-Junio 2015, pp. 175-188. Abstract: La organización terrorista Boko Haram, recientemente unida al Estado Islámico, es una de las formaciones yihadistas más cureless y sanguinarias del mundo. Alessandro Orsini estudia en este artículo sus antecedents históricos y culturales, que se enraízan en una extensa relación de revueltas islamistas que atraviesan la historia de Nigeria desde su época colonial hasta su independencia.

Alessandro Orsini, “Las Brigadas Rojas y El Poder De Las Ideologìas Asesinas,” Cuadernos De Pensamiento Politico, n. 44, Octubre-Diciembre 2014, pp. 69-82. Abstract: El presente artículo analiza el caso de las Brigadas Rojas italianas como ejemplo de terrorismo de extrema izquierda de inspiración marxista-leninista. El análisis pone el acento en el papel de la ideología como esquema mental que explica la acción de los terroristas y presenta a los mismos dentro de la categoría “terroristas de vocación”. Léase, aquellos que teniendo la posibilidad de llevar una vida cómoda eligen la acción terrorista para apagar una necesidad “espiritual”.

Alessandro Orsini, “Charlie Ebdo. El Atentado Jihadista Yihadista De Parìs”, in Cuadernos De Pensamiento Politico, 18/2/2015 (online) Abstract: El atentado yihadista contra el semanario Charlie Hebdo del 7 de enero de 2015 ha planteado tres preguntas de gran interés respecto a la seguridad de las ciudades europeas. La primera cuestión es si Al-Qaeda coordinó un atentado terrorista tan complejo y devastador como el de París desde un país lejano como Yemen.