Luca Falciola

Luca Falciola

Research Interests


Spring 2021

  • Political Violence in 20C. Europe
    MEUSG5001 (4 credits)
    In the twentieth century, Europe became a site of extreme and extensive forms of political violence. This course will explore the main typologies of violence––driven by political motives and exerted by state and non-state actors––that emerged in that period, from both a historical and a theoretical point of view. The main goal of the course is to think critically about a set of substantive questions such as how people transformed political adversaries into enemies to be physically harmed; why some conflicts resulted in the killing of massive numbers of civilians; what were the social consequences of violence; and whether it is possible to observe patterns to violence’s occurrence in modern Europe.  The course proposes a multi-disciplinary approach that bridges History, Political Science, Sociology, and other fields of study that investigate this phenomenon. The course will locate political violence within its specific historical, geographical, and cultural contexts; shed light on the dynamics of radicalization, escalation, and de-escalation; and examine perpetrators’ individual as well as collective experiences. In addition to interpretative frameworks, the course will discuss a number of empirical cases, including the Armenian genocide in Turkey, paramilitarism in Italy, the civil war in Spain, and terrorism in Ireland and Germany.

Fall 2020

  • Contentious Politics: Europe, 1960s-1970
    MEUS GR5000 (4 credits)

    During the 1960s and 1970s critical thought and social movements reemerged with unprecedented force and diffusion, defying inherited values, challenging power relations, and raising revolutionary expectations. This course will survey a set of radical ideas and collective mobilizations that developed in Europe during that period. Classes will be organized around key issues and areas of intervention such as labor, environment, and education. Following a transnational approach, the course will bring to light cross-border influences, interactions, and similarities among different movements both at continental and global level.


Luca Falciola is a Lecturer in the Discipline of History and previously was an Associate Research Scholar at the European Institute.

He is a historian whose research focuses on social movements, political violence, and security policies. He is particularly interested in the development of extremist cultures and in the processes of collective mobilization, radicalization, and (de)escalation of violence. In his research he also explores the historical evolution of protest policing, counterterrorism, and cause lawyering. While adopting a transnational approach, his empirical focus is on Europe and the United States during the Cold War.

His publications include an award-winning book on the Movement of 1977 in Italy (2015), as well as several articles and essays on various aspects of contentious politics between the 1960s­ and the 1980s. He is currently working on a book manuscript on the history of radical lawyers in the USA and their impact on social struggles.

Prior to joining Columbia, he has been Post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the United States and the Cold War, New York University, Research fellow at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, and Post-doctoral fellow at Yale University’s Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence.


  • PhD, Sciences Po, Paris
  • MA, Catholic University, Milan
  • BA Catholic University, Milan

Selected Publications

  • Attorneys on the Barricades: The National Lawyers Guild and the Movements, 1960s–1970s (forthcoming)
  • “Wearing a Keffiyeh in Italy: The Transnational Relationships Between the Revolutionary Left and the Palestinian Resistance,” Journal of Cold War Studies (forthcoming)
  • “Reagire alla crisi nel XX secolo: spontaneità sociale e ipotesi radicali dopo lo shock petrolifero del ’73,” [Dealing with the Crisis in the XX Century: Social Spontaneity and Radical Blueprints After the 1973 Oil Shock], in Italia creativa. Condivisione, sostenibilità e innovazione, eds. Laura Bovone and Carla Lunghi (Roma: Donzelli, 2020), 23–41
  • “Representing Political Violence in the Underground Press: the Case of the Movement of 1977,” in The Last Avant-Garde: Alternative and Anti-Establishment Reviews (1970-1979), ed. Andrea Chiurato (Sesto San Giovanni: Mimesis, 2019), 81–98
  • “Frames of Injustice across Borders: Revolutionary Left and Police Repression in Italy, France, and the United States,” in Revolutionary Violence and the New Left: Transnational Perspectives, eds. Alberto Martín Álvarez and Eduardo Rey (New York-London: Routledge, 2016), 185–202
  • “A Bloodless Guerrilla Warfare: Why U.S. White Leftists Renounced Violence Against People During the 1970s,” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 28, no. 5 (2016): 928–949
  • “From Legitimation to Rejection of Violence: The Shifting Stance of the Radical Milieu in Italy During the 1970s,” in Political Violence in Context: Time, Space and Milieu, eds. Lorenzo Bosi, Niall Ó Dochartaigh and Daniela Pisoiu (Colchester: ECPR Press, 2015), 253–276
  • Il movimento del 1977 in Italia [The Movement of 1977 in Italy] (Roma: Carocci, 2015)