Interview with William Marotti

Photograph of William Marotti

Political Violence: A Strategy of Resistance

Political violence stands apart from more general violence because those who perpetrate it seek to bring about political goals with their actions. While many accept the ways that governments perpetrate political violence through wars and to maintain law and order, when activists, organizations, or revolutionaries resort to the same, they often are dismissed as needlessly destructive or anti-social.

In Episode 1 of our Political Violence series, Sam Timinsky interviews Associate Professor William Marotti to better understand why non-governmental groups resort to political violence. Marotti, who teaches Modern Japanese History at the University of California at Los Angeles, works on research that examines the politics of culture in 1960s Japan, particularly the connections between artistic production & performance and Leftist activism. Join in listening to today’s conversation, as Marotti defines “political violence” for us and explains why political groups – such as the Japanese New Left in the late 1960s – chose to use violence as a strategy of political protest and activism.

Interested in learning more about how William Marotti addresses political violence in history? Check out his book, Money, Trains, and Guillotines. Or you can listen to his panel presentation on “Fifty Years After 1968” at the American Historical Association’s 2018 conference.

Stream or download our conversation here.

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