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Conspiracy theories in Republican Italy: the Pellegrino Report to the Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism


The article aims to analyse the draft of the final report prepared by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino, who from 1994 to 2001 chaired the “Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on terrorism in Italy and on the causes of the failure to identify those responsible for the massacres.” The document, written in 1995, was an attempt to create a unified reconstruction of all the episodes of political violence that had characterized the history of the Italian Republic up to that point. It represents one of the products of the transition between the “first” and the “second” Republic and, in keeping with revisionist trends of the very recent past, it attributes the responsibility for misdeeds and occult plots (real or imagined) that occurred in Italy over a period of forty years to the ideological division caused by the Cold War. What results is a highly distorted narrative of Italian history in which events appear to depend almost exclusively on external factors rather than on important internal dynamics.