Political Violence: Patterns and Trends

  • Austin T. Turk


Marvin Wolfgang’s interest in violence focused mainly on patterns of criminal homicide and traditions of aggression that he called “subcultures of violence” (Wolfgang and Ferracuti, 1967). However, he was anything but indifferent to political violence. Like many criminologists, he sought to understand the civil turmoil of the 1960s—evidenced in his work with the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence and his collaboration with James F. Short, Jr., in editing an authoritative volume of works on the collective violence of that time (Short and Wolfgang, 1972). And in a seminal study deserving of far more attention than it has received, he provided a fascinating scholarly analysis of the savage political struggle between the Guelph and Ghibelline parties of Florence during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries (Wolfgang, 1954). That study was one of the first to extend criminological inquiry to larger issues of political conflict and violence in specific historical contexts.


Corporal Punishment Political Violence Political Conflict Authority Structure Collective Violence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Austin T. Turk
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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