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Everyday Fascism in the 1930s: Centre and Periphery in the Decline of Mussolini's Dictatorship

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2006

Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, University of Siena, via P.A. Mattioli 10, 53100 Siena, Italy.


From the first Italian Fascism proclaimed its aim of nationalising, centralising and moralising Italian politics. During the regime the cult of the ethical state was the most obvious and continuing expression of this ambition. This article argues that the decline of Fascism, already very evident by the end of the 1930s, was closely linked to the regime's failure to realise these objectives and that this failure was in large part a consequence of the difficulties experienced by Fascism in changing the relationship between the provinces and the centre in terms of the way in which power was perceived and employed in the provinces. It is argued that these difficulties were implicit in the way in which Fascism had been understood by its provincial supporters from the very beginnings of the movement.

Research Article
Cambridge University Press 2006

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Paul Corner has been Professor of European History at the University of Siena since 1987. He has worked on various aspects of Italian Fascism and on the comparisons between Fascism and Nazism. His most recent work includes ‘Italian Fascism: Whatever Happened to Dictatorship?’, Journal of Modern History (2002), and ‘The Road to Fascism: an Italian Sonderweg?’, Contemporary European History (2002). He is a Senior Member of St Antony's College, Oxford.