Since the 1980s the historiography of fascism has produced a series of works that share a determination to ‘take fascism seriously’ — as a distinct ideological, political, and social phenomenon. Whether theoretical, classificatory or comparative, these works may have differed substantially in terms of their understanding of the essence of ‘fascism’ and the optimal methodological framework for its analysis; but together they brought about a significant recalibration of analytical tools, charting new — and mostly fruitful — avenues of interpretation and further research. Moving steadily away from the barely theorized and indiscriminate ‘survey’ paradigms of the 1950s and 1960s, ‘fascism’ started to gradually emerge as a coherent and distinct ‘ism’, rooted in wider intellectual currents of its historical context but underpinned by distinct and novel ideological-political qualities that were now seen as crucial to its formation and conceptual understanding.1 Gradually recognized as a ‘third-way’ ideology,2 sharing specific elements from existing worldviews but propagating a new kind of ‘revolutionary’ synthesis that went beyond existing political templates, ‘fascism’ came to be regarded as the vertex of ideological and political radicalism in inter-war Europe — not only across the full left-right spectrum but also within the political space of the European right. It was considered ‘totalitarian’ as opposed to ‘authoritarian’, radical as opposed to conservative, active and mass-mobilizing (populist) as opposed to passive and top-down, even ‘revolutionary’ as opposed to reactionary.
- Liberal Democracy
- Demonstration Effect
- Political Space
- Nazi Regime
- Fascist Regime
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A. Kallis, ed., The Fascist Reader, London, Routledge, 2003, Introduction;
A. Kallis, ‘El concepto de fascismo en la historia anglófona comparada’, in J. A. Mellon, ed., El fascismo clásico (1919–1945) y sus epígonos, Madrid, Tecnos, 2012, pp. 15–70.
Z. Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1994.
A. C. Pinto, ‘Fascism: a “revolutionary” right in interwar Europe’, in N. Atkin and M. Biddiss, eds, Themes in Modern European History, 1890–1945, New York, Routledge, 2009, pp. 215–242 (here 221);
M. Blinkhorn, Fascism and the Right in Europe, 1919–1945, London, Longman, 2002, pp. 43–44.
A. Kallis, ‘“Fascism”, “Para-fascism” and “Fascistization”: on the Similarities of Three Conceptual Categories’, European History Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2003, pp. 219–250 (here 234–242).
R. O. Paxton, ‘The Five Stages of Fascism’, Journal of Modern History, Vol. 70, No. 1, 1998, pp. 18–20.
R. O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism, New York, Vintage Books, 2005, pp. 148–170.
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R. Griffin, The Nature of Fascism, New York/London, Routledge, 1991, pp. 120–145; Kallis, ‘“Fascism”, “Para-fascism” and “Fascistization”’, pp. 220–221.
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Cf. G. Cappoccia, Defending Democracy: Reactions to Extremism in Interwar Europe, Baltimore, ML, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, p. 229.
I borrow the term (and focus on) ‘departure’ in this context from the excellent work by D. D. Roberts, The Totalitarian Experiment in Twentieth-Century Europe, Abingdon and New York, Routledge, 2006, Chs 1, 9; cf.
D. D. Roberts, Historicism and Fascism in Modern Italy, Toronto/Buffalo/London, University of Toronto Press, 2007, p. 40. As will become clear, however, from the text that follows, I use the term in a postliberal, anti-democratic sense (also suggested by Roberts) without the specific notion of a ‘totalitarian direction’.
R. Eatwell, ‘The Nature of “Generic Fascism”: The “Fascist Minimum” and the “Fascist Matrix”’, in U. Backes, ed., Rechtsextreme Ideologien in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Bohlau Verlag, Colgone, 2003, pp. 93–137.
T. H. Greene, Comparative Revolutionary Movements, Engelwood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall, 1984;
E. J. Hobsbawm, ‘Revolution’, in R. Porter and M. Teich, eds, Revolutions in History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986, p. 17.
M. A. Frese Witt, The Search for Modern Tragedy: Aesthetic Fascism in Italy and France, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 2002, p. 149.
D. P. Tryphonopoulos, The Celestial Tradition: A Study of Ezra Pound’s The Cantos, Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992, pp. 102–103. See also, more generally,
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Quoted in S. G. Payne, Falange: A History of Spanish Fascism, Stanford CA, Stanford University Press, 1961, p. 77.
T. Gallagher, ‘Conservatism, dictatorship and fascism in Portugal, 1914–1945’, in M. Blinkhorn, ed., Fascists and Conservatives. The Radical Right and the Establishment in Twentieth-Century Europe, London, Routledge, 1990, p. 167.
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G. Balakrishnan, The Enemy. An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt, London, Verso, 2000, p. 122.
M. J. Phillips-Matz, The Many Lives of Otto Kahn, New York, Macmillan, 1963, p. 250.
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N. D. Koumaros, G. A. Mantzoufas, ‘Aι θεμελιώδεις Συνταγματικές Aρχές του Nέου Kράτους’, Nέον Kράτος Vol. 2, No. 11, pp. 761–818. See also M. Pelt, ‘The Establishment and Development of the Metaxas Dictatorship in the Content of Fascism and Nazism, 1936–41’, in S. Gert and R. Mallett, eds, International Fascism, 1919–45, London/Portland, OR, Frank Cass, 2002, pp. 143–172;
A. Kallis, ‘Neither Fascist nor Authoritarian: The 4th of August Regime in Greece (1936–1941) and the Dynamics of Fascistisation in 1930s Europe’, East Central Europe, Vol. 37, No. 2–3, 2010, pp. 303–330;
H. Fleischer, ‘Authoritarian rule in Greece (1936–74) and its heritage’, in J. Borejsza and K. Ziemer, eds, Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes in Europe: Legacies and Lessons from the Twentieth Century, New York, Berghahn, 2006, pp. 237–275.
Cf. P. Burrin, ‘La France dans le champ magnétique des fascismes’, Le Débat, 32, 1984, pp. 52–72.
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On the concept of ‘contagion’ in history and political science see S. P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991, pp. 100–102; and, in general,
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Cf. R. Griffin, Modernism and Fascism, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
S. M. Saideman, ‘Is Pandora’s Box Half Empty or Half Full? The Limited Vimlence of Secessionism and the Domestic Sources of Disintegration’, in D. A. Lake and D. S. Rothchild, eds, The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict: Fear, Diffusion, and Escalation, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1998, pp. 127–150 (here 128–130).
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See, for example, G. Albanese, Alle origini del fascismo. La violenza politica a Venezia 1919–1922, Padova, II Poligrafo, 2001; and the classic work of
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B. Scholz, ‘Italienischer Faschismus als ‘Export’-Artikel (1927–1935)’, Dissertation: Universität Trier, Fachbereich 3, 1997, available online at http://ubt.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2004/219/pdf/19970213.pdf
R. Griffin, ‘Revolution from the Right: Fascism’, in D. Parker, ed., Revolutions and the Revolutionary Tradition in the West 1560–1991, London, Routledge, 2003, pp. 185–201; and, generally about ‘revolutionary situations’ and ‘revolutionary outcomes’,
C. Tilly, European Revolutions, 1492–1992, Oxford, Blackwell, 1995, pp. 10–20.
J. J. Linz, ‘Fascism and non-democratic regimes’, in H. Maier, ed., Totalitarianism and Political Religions, vol. III: Concepts for the Comparison of Dictatorships — Theory and History of Interpretation, New York, Routledge, 2003, pp. 225–291.
A. Kallis, Genocide and Fascism: The Eliminationist Drive in Interwar Europe, Abingdon and New York, Routledge, 2009, Chs 6, 9.
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Paxton, ‘The Five Stages of Fascism’, pp. 2–3; P. Burrin, ‘Poings leves et bras tendus. La contagion des symboles au temps du Front populaire’, Vingtième Siècle — Revue d’histoire, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1986, pp. 5–20; cf.
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Kallis, ‘“Fascism”, “Para-fascism” and “Fascistization”’, pp. 222–225; Z. Sternhell, ‘Fascist ideology’, in W. Laqueur, ed., Fascism: A Reader’s Guide. Analyses, Interpretations, Bibliography, Berkeley/Los Angeles, CA, University of California Press, 1976, pp. 315–376 (here 353).
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J. Petersen, ‘The history of the concept of totalitarianism in Italy’, in H. Maier, ed., Totalitarianism and Political Religions, London/New York, Routledge, 2004, pp. 1–21 (here 14–15). On political pilgrimage see
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M. Cuzzi, L’Internazionale delle Camicie Nere: I CAUR, Comitati D’Azione per l’Universalità di Roma, 1933–1939, Milan: Mursia, 2005, pp. 327–346;
M. A. Ledeen, Universal Fascism: The Theory and Practice of the Fascist International, 1928–1936, New York, Fertig, 1972, p. 128. See also ACS, Ministero Cultura Popolare (MCP), Gabinetto, 93 (‘Appunti sui CAUR’, no date).
C. Baldoli, ‘Anglo-Italian Fascist Solidarity? The shift from Italophilia to Naziphilia in the BUF’, in J. Gottlieb and T. P. Linehan, eds, The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain, London, I. B. Tauris, 2004, pp. 155–156.
A. Cassels, Ideology and International Relations in the Modern World, New York/London, Routledge, 1996, p. 158.
ACS, SPD, Carteggio Ordinario (CO), 137.389, b.379 (file for Gömbös); cf. G. Réti and T. J. DeKornfeld, Hungarian-Italian Relations in the Shadow of Hitler’s Germany, 1933–1940, New York/Boulder, CO, EEM-Columbia University Press, 2003, p. 347.
P. Hehn, A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930–1941, New York/London, Continuum, 2005, pp. 53–54;
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I. T. Berend, Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2001, pp. 309–310.
A. Kallis, ‘The “Regime-Model” of Fascism: A Typology’, European History Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2000, pp. 77–104 (here 91); Blinkhorn, Fascism and the Right, pp. 49–50.
Cf. the similar metaphor used by one of the most distinct thinkers of the twentieth-century European radical right, J. Evola, Fascism viewed from the Right, Rome, G. Volpe, 1974, p. 62.
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L. Whitehead, ‘International aspects on democratization’, in G. O’Donnell, P. Schmitter, and L. Whitehead, eds, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Comparative Perspectives, Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986, pp. 3–46; and his ‘Three international dimensions of democratization’, in L. Whitehead, ed., The International Dimensions of Democratization, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 3–24.
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M. Vincent, ‘Spain’, in R. J. B. Bosworth, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Fascism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 362–379; Kallis, ‘“Fascism”, “Para-fascism” and “Fascistization”’.
M. Dobry, ‘February 1934 and the Discovery of French Society’s Allergy to the ‘Fascist Revolution’’, in B. Jenkins, ed., France in the Era of Fascism. Essays on the French Authoritarian Right, Oxford, Berghahn, 2005, pp. 129–150 (here 139).
L. Whitehead, Democratization. Theory and Experience, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.
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Kallis, A. (2014). The ‘Fascist Effect’: On the Dynamics of Political Hybridization in Inter-War Europe. In: Pinto, A.C., Kallis, A. (eds) Rethinking Fascism and Dictatorship in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137384416_2
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