Giving them a voice: narratives of political violence in Portugal

da Silva, Raquel Beleza Pereira (2016). Giving them a voice: narratives of political violence in Portugal. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This dissertation examines the lives and experiences of former political violent activists in Portugal, who acted in three distinct periods surrounding the Carnation Revolution of April 25th (1974), which overthrew Estado Novo’s dictatorship and established democracy: a pre-revolution period (1964-1974), a counter-revolution period (1975-1976) and a post-revolution period (1980-1987). This research aims to explore the dynamics of engagement with, life within, and disengagement from, a political violent organisation from the point of view of the actors of the violence themselves, whose voices are traditionally silenced. This study is theoretically framed by the research produced by Critical Terrorism Studies’ scholars and underpinned by narrative inquiry as the paradigm that guides the entire research process. This is, thus, the first in-depth qualitative investigation of the phenomenon in Portugal, which employed life history interviews to collect first-hand accounts about their subjective experiences, meanings and perspectives. The findings suggest that there are robust connections between the stories people tell about their lives and the social, cultural, political, historical and human contexts that frame these same stories. The showcase of the empirical, theoretical and methodological implications of the research concludes this thesis, emphasizing what this study adds to knowledge in the field of political violence.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Applied Social Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory


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