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The expression comes through French, from Italian voltafaccia and Portuguese volte face, composed of volta (turn) and faccia (face).
- The royal assent by Charles I in June 1628 to the Petition of Right.
- The 1938 decision of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to subsidize Balkan economies to resist German economic supremacy.
- The 1990s switch of the Bharatiya Janata Party of India from a support of swadeshi (national) products to the embracing of free market ideas
- The switch from populist protectionist policies that fed national movements to free market capitalism wholly at odds with the election promises of Solidarity in Poland and the African National Congress in South Africa 
- The Diplomatic Revolution.
- The Soviet-German Pact.
- The successful manoeuver of Italy in September 1943, when the Italian Army capitulated immediately after the Allied invasion of Sicily. Italy switched sides from one of the aggressor Axis Powers and was allowed to co-operate with the Allies with notable benefits (Britannica: "The Allies' invasion of Italy and the Italian volte-face, 1943").
- The Soviet switch from supporting Somalia to supporting Ethiopia during the Ogaden War.
- New Coke replaced Coca-Cola's main product with one containing a different formula. After a public backlash, Coca-Cola reintroduced the original formulation.
- Klein, Naomi (2007) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Picador. ISBN 978-0-312-42799-3.