Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 213–236 | Cite as

Taming dissent: the United States and the Italian centre-left, 1948–1978

  • Alessandro BrogiEmail author


Italy was the first country in which the United States tested its ‘political warfare’, the integrated application of overt and covert strategies to stabilise internal politics. This article illustrates that while America’s most intrusive and aggressive methods against Communist power in Italy often backfired, its diplomatic use of Italy’s interplay of domestic politics and foreign policies was relatively successful. It was an indirect method that hinged on America’s flexibility towards the moderate centre-left forces. American counterintuitive toleration and sometimes encouragement of mild political and cultural dissent in Italy helped refute and isolate the determined opposition of the strong Italian Communist Party.


the United States Italian Christian Democrats Italian Communist Party Eurocommunism Vietnam War 


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© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

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