Maintaining the Political Frontier

  • David Moss


Compared with the factory, the political domain offered a vastly more complex and visible arena for violence and response. Unlike trade unions and employers, the role of the political élites as guarantors of public order gave them no opportunity to externalise the problem of ‘terrorism’. Without the possibility of escape from the communicative field created by acts of ‘armed propaganda’ and diffuse violence, their actions and inactions served to indicate their perception of the seriousness of the attacks as well as to put in place legal and administrative measures to contain and eliminate them. Not all responses were public, of course: the use of infiltrators into the armed groups, techniques of police investigation and informal political pressure on the media, for example, depended on their invisibility for success. But, in the development of ideologically-based violence in search of unified meanings for armed struggle, the symbolic dimension of public responses carried a special importance.


Political Community Political Elite Political Violence Armed Group Major Party 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© David Moss 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Moss
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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