“The Dark Side of the Belle Époque. Political Violence and Armed Associations in Europe before the First World War” is a comparative historical project at the University of Padova and funded by the European Research Council (ERC-Starting Grant Scheme 2015).
The project investigates the role played by militias, paramilitary movements, armed organisations, and vigilante groups before the First World War (from the late 19th century to 1914). It takes into consideration the role, impact, features of armed associations in France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the German Reich in order to understand to what extent organised political violence permeated European societies and represented a mass transnational experience in an era – the so-called Belle Époque – which is generally seen as characterised by peace and progress. Actually, the Europe of the so-called Belle Époque was already a continent in which the practice of violence was a daily experience for thousands of civilians.Continue reading