1st Edition

Citizens and Subjects of the Italian Colonies Legal Constructions and Social Practices, 1882–1943

Edited By Simona Berhe, Olindo De Napoli Copyright 2022
    280 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the first book on Italian colonialism that specifically deals with the question of citizenship/subjecthood. Such a topic is crucial for understanding both Italian imperial rule and the complex dynamics of the different colonial societies where several actors, like notables, political leaders, minorities, etc., were involved.

    The chapters gathered in the book constitute an unprecedented account of a heterogeneous geographical area. The cases of Eritrea, Libya, Dodecanese, Ethiopia, and Albania confirm that citizenship and subjecthood in the colonial context were ductile political tools, which were structured according to the orientations of the Metropole and the challenges that came from the colonial societies, often swinging between submission, cooptation to the colonial power, and resistance.

    On one hand, the book offers an account of the different policies of citizenship implemented in the Italian colonies, in particular the construction of gradated forms of citizenship, the repression and expulsion of dissidents, the systems of endearment of local people and cooptation of the elites, and the racialization of legal status. On the other, it deals with the various answers coming from the local populations in terms of resistance, negotiation, and construction of social identity.

    Part 1: Legal Constructions

    1. Between Governmentality and Indeterminacy: The Birth of the Legal Category of Subjecthood (1882–1909)

    Olindo De Napoli

    2. Subjecthood, Citizenship, Autonomy, Independence?: Legal Status and National Claims in the First Decade of Italian Occupation in Libya (19111920)

    Federico Cresti

    3. The Allure of Citizenship: Subjects, Citizens, and Special Citizens in the Fascist Empire

    Roberta Pergher

    4. The System of Differences: Justice and Citizenship in Libya (1911–1922)

    Alessia Di Stefano

    5. Forms of Legal Membership Between Theory and Practice: The Activity of the Consiglio Superiore Coloniale

    Carlo Bersani

    6. An Italian Nationality for the Levant: Citizenship in the Aegean from the Ottoman to the Fascist Empire (1912–36)

    Filippo Espinoza

    7. The Status of Albanians Under Italian Occupation (1939–1943)

    Giovanni Villari

    Part 2: Social Practices

    8. Rights, Mobility and Identity: Colonial Citizenship in Libya in the Twenties

    Simona Berhe

    9. Orphanages and Citizenship. Abandoned Italo-Eritreans Accessing Italian Citizenship

    Valentina Fusari

    10. No More Greeks: Contrasting Identities in the Italian Dodecanese

    Luca Castiglioni

    11. Stateless Armenians in Ethiopia Under Fascist Occupation (1936–1941): Foreignness and Integration, From Local to Colonial Subject

    Boris Adjemian

    Afterword: Citizenship and Subjecthood, Empire and Nation

    Frederick Cooper


    Simona Berhe is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bologna.

    Olindo De Napoli is Associate Professor in Modern History at the University of Naples Federico II.