How is it that they do not participate? Understanding commitment in the French extreme left-wing

By Caroline Guibet Lafaye

Violence during public demonstrations or “terrorist” attacks causes astonishment, lack of understanding, and often indignation. To establish an immanent and comprehensive understanding of the actors of such political violence, we undertook a qualitative survey of certain French anti-parliamentary extreme leftist groups. Political commitment is interpreted by these actors as “natural,” “logical,” and grounded in a fundamental rejection of injustice. Thus, the issue becomes “how could one not commit oneself?” Therefore, such “radical” political commitment can be understood as an action embedded in moral and political convictions, based on conceptions of justice and injustice, and as a necessary convergence of cognitive and praxeological rationalities, conceived as a moral duty.


  • political violence
  • radicalism
  • terrorism
  • rioting demonstrator
  • injustice
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