Negri, Antonio


Negri, Antonio
(1933– )
   A writer and political activist, the Italian Antonio Negri published prolifically in the 1970s, although his most notable work is Empire written with Michael Hardt. His earlier publications include Crisi dello Stato-piano (1974), Proletari e Stato (1976), La forma Stato (1977), Il dominio e il Sabotaggio (1978), Dall’ operaio Mass all’ operaio Sociale (1979), and Marx oltre Marx, quaderno di lavaro sui Grundrisse (1980). As an activist he was involved in the founding of Potere Operaio (Worker Power) for the Veneto-Emiliano region in 1966. He then helped to found the Autonomia Operaio (Worker Autonomy Movement) and worked on the radical Rosso newspaper. In 1979 he was arrested on charges of involvement with a plot to create an armed insurrection against the state, the formation of an armed gang and the kidnap and murder of Aldo Moro, the president of the Christian Democratic Party. In 1983 while in prison during his prolonged court case, he was elected to the Italian parliament as a representative of the Radical Party. This gave him immunity from prosecution and saw him released from prison. After the Italian Chamber of Deputies then voted to have him rearrested Negri fled to Paris and was sentenced in his absence to 30 years’ imprisonment. Returning to Italy in 1997 he was arrested and sent to serve his sentence.
   Negri’s intellectual contribution lies in his efforts to produce a new Marxist analysis of capitalism taking into account changes in the nature of capitalist society, particularly in relation to the role of the state. In his influential work Empire he argues that globalization and mercerization of the world since the late 1960s represents an unprecedented historical development, and he explores issues relating to the information society, network economy and globalization.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.