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.
Table of Contents
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 (1911–1920)
3. The Allure of Citizenship: Subjects, Citizens, and Special Citizens in the Fascist Empire
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
6. An Italian Nationality for the Levant: Citizenship in the Aegean from the Ottoman to the Fascist Empire (1912–36)
7. The Status of Albanians Under Italian Occupation (1939–1943)
Part 2: Social Practices
8. Rights, Mobility and Identity: Colonial Citizenship in Libya in the Twenties
9. Orphanages and Citizenship. Abandoned Italo-Eritreans Accessing Italian Citizenship
10. No More Greeks: Contrasting Identities in the Italian Dodecanese
11. Stateless Armenians in Ethiopia Under Fascist Occupation (1936–1941): Foreignness and Integration, From Local to Colonial Subject
Afterword: Citizenship and Subjecthood, Empire and Nation
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.