"Umfeld": The Reception of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism by the Radical Left in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1968-1998
09 / 2010 - 07 / 2012
In the context of the NIAS Theme Group "Terrorists on Trial. The Court Room as a Stage in the Struggle for Publicity, Public Support and Legitimacy", I will study the reception of terrorism and counter-terrorism by the radical left in Germany between 1968-1998. The Red Army Faction and other left-wing terrorist organisations were embedded in a broader milieu of radical left-wing groups. These were strongly affected by the confrontation between the terrorists and the state that put huge pressure on both of them. I am interested in the way people within the social environment of the terrorists tried to cope with this situation. How did they relate to the terrorists programme of death and destruction? How did they interpret the confrontation with the state, as it was played out in courtrooms and prisons, in relation to their own place in society? Through this specific research I hope to learn more about the essential role the social environment plays for all terrorist organisations.