In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2010. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 15–30
The episodes of social unrest which occurred in France and Italy in the aftermath of the Second World War have often been interpreted as “revolutionary” jerks. The moment when fear of “communist revolution” in Western Europe was felt most was probably the wave of strikes that unfolded in both countries in the autumn 1947. These violent strikes, launched only a few weeks after the first Cominform meeting of September 1947, endowed the European Communists with the Jacobin insurrectionary image they retained for years afterward. By focusing on communist labour strategies – rather than the usual emphasis on general party history – this work aims to understand whether there is more to add to this interpretation of the events. What was the ultimate goal of the strike movement in France and Italy? And did it actually signify a shift in communist behaviour?