Research on protest cycles indicates that violence is driven less by strategic concerns than by relational dynamics developing during moments of intense mobilization. While violence has rarely been addressed within social movement studies, which have concentrated instead on contentious, but peaceful forms of protest, social science research on violence has tended to isolate it from broader context, considering it as pathological and illegitimate. One of the main analytical advantages in using social movement studies to understand political violence is in their capacity to locate it within broader conflicts, in which violence is only one form. Radicalization is in fact activated by competition between movement activists and opponents, especially in the form of escalating policing, but also of competitive escalation within the social movement sector, as well as within social movement families. The development of political violence during cycle of protest has been observed first of all in the analysis of political conflicts mobilized by a left-wing social movement family.