Society for Italian Historical Studies 1
All papers expand Fascism’s history by highlighting its national continuities into the post-war period, its international connections, and global legacies. The promotion of an aggressive policy of colonial expansion in Africa spurred interest in Fascism’s imperial projects before and after World War II. Patrick Bernhard highlights how Italian imperialism inspired German colonization programs. From the perspective of the history of science and environmental history, Angelo Caglioti argues that the political economy of Italian colonialism animated also the efforts of the International Institute of Agriculture, the institution preceding the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rhiannon Evangelista’s paper examines the return to politics of fascist leaders as critics of the Italian democratic state in the 1950s. Eileen Ryan reflects on the geopolitical relevance of Italian decolonization, its impact on people’s lives, and the ideological continuities between Italian colonialism and fascist imperialism.
All contributions share the same goal of renewing the history of Italian Fascism by offering a broader perspective on fascist colonial and post-colonial legacies. Our target is to widen the audience of scholars involved in the history of Fascism and create new intersections with historians interested in different fields and methods, spanning from the history of science to political, social, and cultural history. We also intend to enrich the history of Fascism through the lenses of political continuity, empire, and decolonization.