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Ferdinando Angeletti | Institute of High Studies on Terrorism and Insurgency (Istituto di Alti Studi per il Terrorismo e l’Eversione – IASTE) | Intelligence & Interview N.25 | Dr Giangiuseppe Pili

Approved by the Author

Working – an age ago – to my monograph on the philosophy of war, I had the chance to read Ferdinando Angeletti’s paper. It was very perspicuous and well-written. Then, I decided to contact him to have feedback on a chapter of the book, “pure theory of war”, where I analyzed the normative component of the principles of war. Angeletti was then interested in the theory of games and its application to war (I hope to recall it correctly, but everybody knows my infallibility!). Naturally, it started a conversation, and the chapter improved by it (inspite of my alleged infallibility). By then, Angeletti and I had the opportunity to co-author a piece on terrorism during Brexit published by the Brexit institute (Dublin City University). Then, I discovered how a detailed, careful, and rigorous researcher Angeletti is, even more. Meanwhile, I discover, first, that Angeletti was part of the Italian Society of Military History (SISM, the readers still remember – yes!, I know it! – the recent Virgilio Ilari’s interview); second, that he founded an institute on terrorism and eversion studies. Then, I was glad to be part of it as a member. There are few people that I esteem so much as Ferdinando for his work and research. I hope, then, that the reader will discover more about IASTE, Institute of High Studies on Terrorism and Insurgency (Istituto di Alti Studi per il Terrorismo e l’Eversione – IASTE). Without further ados, it is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Ferdinando: thank you!

1. Dear Ferdinando Angeletti, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?

I am a PhD in History of Europe at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. My research is essentially in the field of military history (I am also a member of the SISM – Italian Society of Military History) and of criminal and police law. In this sense, I have often tried, in my works, to see the consequences and the relationships that exist between legal norms and the military world throughout history. Since 2019 I am one of the founders and Director of the IASTE.

2. You are the Director of the Institute of High Studies on Terrorism and Insurgency (Istituto di Alti Studi per il Terrorismo e l’Eversione – IASTE). What is the IASTE’ mission? How did you and your colleagues decide to found a new institute? What is the missing gap IASTE wants to fill?

The Institute for Advanced Studies on Terrorism and insurgency,  located in Acqui Terme (Italy), aims to provide broad and orderly documentation on the history of terrorism phenomena since the unification of Italy until today, in its historical, social, political, economic and cultural forms.

The Italian state, since its birth in 1861, has lived in different periods and in different ways, attacks aimed at its institutional heart in order to subvert the established order.

In Italy, an institution that deals with deepening these studies, along the entire chronological period from the unit to today and which, above all, is as independent (both politically and ideologically) as authoritative, does not exist.

The Institute for Higher Studies on Terrorism and Insurgency would like to fill this gap.

3. Knowing how an institution was established in the first place, its developments, and history gives a significant glance to the institution itself. Very briefly, what is the main IASTE history timeline?

The institute was formally born in 2019, even if already in the previous months the founding members had started a series of activities. Since its foundation, we have tried to give life to cultural events such as book presentations or conferences. Like any cultural institution of the 21st century, we immediately equipped ourselves with social profiles. We have also obtained, like certification of the seriousness of the institution, the registration in the national register of associations for social promotion, the legal form that the institution intended to give itself.

4. What are the main areas, topics, and themes explored by IASTE, and how does it do it?  

This newly created structure of historical research and dissemination aims to ensure vast and orderly documentation on the history of terroristic phenomena from the Unification of Italy to today, in its historical, social, political, economic and cultural aspects.

We study every aspect connected with that period: not only the so-called “Anni di Piombo” but also, only, for example, the “Southern Brigandage” (only in its legitimist version), the Italian Anarchism at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the South Tyrolean Independence (1945 -1970), the Sicilian one (1943 -1948). To these periods and phenomena are also added the various foreign and international subversive phenomena but only and exclusively in their points of contact with Italy.

Thus, the aims of the IASTE are to research, collect, preserve and make available to scholars all kinds of documentation concerning the topics mentioned above and disseminate it. This is especially the case for the younger generations. We will publish news, studies and information on the state of research and new acquisitions of the internal library; promote conferences, refresher courses and the creation of materials for teaching history in schools; organize conferences, exhibitions, meetings and any other activity in collaboration with public and private institutions; disseminate knowledge of current problems related to insurgency and participate in any initiative for their study.

5. Though it is still a new institute, can you briefly describe the main IASTE achievements?

We were very proud to organize a conference, held in February 2019, entitled “The Eversion In Italy And The State Response”, in which, in some way, we introduced ourselves to the general public. There were several important scholars from all over the country. We then organized the first edition of a two-year degree award, dedicated to the magistrate Francesco Coco killed by the Red Brigades. We were particularly pleased by quantitatively and qualitatively results. This was particularly satisfying being it only the first edition. There is a hunger for knowledge and insight into the subject, after all.

Unfortunately, the current pandemic period prevents us from organizing the awards ceremony as, it’s hard to admit, even organizing any other type of event at the moment.

6. Is IASTE’s “just” an Italian reality for Italian readers or is it interested in expanding over the international community its involvement? 

IASTE is a very young reality and, clearly, very much focused on the study of the events that took place in Italy. The first objective, therefore, is to find followers on the national territory. As is well known, however, the terrorist phenomena of the last 150 years have had various international connections. It would be particularly interesting to be able to expand by looking for links with similar foreign organizations and to create joint research. Who knows one day!

7. How can our readers follow you and IASTE?

We have a Facebook page. We are present on, and on YouTube with a dedicated channel. The reader can find on our chanel videos of the 2019 conference have been uploaded.

For any information, or to register, you can contact us at the email address

8. Five keywords that represent IASTE?

Scientificity, seriousness, apolitical, collaboration, research development

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