Comparative Fascist Studies: New Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Comparative Fascist Studies

New Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Constantin Iordachi


384 pages

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pub: 2009-07-09
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Owing to its mass appeal, revolutionary and violent nature, strong political impact, and multiple reverberations in contemporary politics, fascism was one of the most complex, and hotly debated movements of the twentieth century. Comparative Fascist Studies: New Perspectives brings together some of the leading experts in the field in order to provide an informative introduction to the most recent debates on fascist studies and the history of fascism across Europe.

In his general, analytical introduction Constantin Iordachi focuses on transnational approaches to fascism, briefly reviewing the comparative method and its application to fascist studies. Concentrating on the interwar period, the book is divided into three parts, offering a synoptic overview of the latest developments in the field, exploring different definitions of fascism, and grounding these theoretical debates in their historical context. The three parts correspond to distinct methods and levels of comparison. They focus on:

  • debates over ideal-type models of generic fascism used as instruments of comparison, and evaluation of historic case studies
  • cross-national and trans-national comparisons of historical examples of fascism, measured against each other or against theoretical models of generic fascism
  • debates over totalitarianism and political religions and their relevance for studying fascist movements and regimes.

This Reader provides a sample of authoritative works that have revolutionized the field in the last two decades, supplemented by recent challenging reinterpretations of key aspects of fascism. Chapters include works by: Zeev Sternhell, George L Mosse, Stanley G. Payne, Roger Griffin, Roger Eatwell, Robert O. Paxton, Michael Mann, Aristotle A. Kallis, Ian Kershaw, Emilio Gentile, Richard Steigmann-Gall, and Constantin Iordachi.

Each extract also has an introduction and annotations to guide the student through the complex arguments. This Reader is the perfect informative introduction into debates on comparative fascist studies.


'This is a collection of academic pieces by some of the most eminent scholars in the field of fascist studies of the last forty years. And what a superb collection it is' Mike McCabe, S.A.T.H. Resources Review

Table of Contents

Introduction Part One: Defining Generic Fascism: A New Consensus?

1. Fascism Zeev Sternell 2. Toward a General Theory of Fascism George L. Mosse 3. Introduction. Fascism: A Working Definition Stanley G. Payne 4. ‘General Introduction: Fascism;’ and ‘The Primacy of Culture’ Roger Griffin 5. The Nature of Generic Fascism: 'The Fascist Minumum' and the 'Fascist Matrix' Roger Eatwell Part Two: Historical Fascism: Cross- and Trans-National Comparisons 6. The Five Stages of Fascism Robert O. Paxton 7. A Sociology of Fascist Movements Michael Mann 8. The 'Regime-Model' of Fascism: A Typology Aristotle A. Kallis 9. Hitler and the Uniqueness of Nazism Ian Kershaw Part Three: Fascism as Totalitarianism and Political Religion 10. The Sacralisation of Politics: Definitions, Interpretations and Reflections on the Question of Secular Religion and Totalitarianism Emilo Gentile 11. Cloister or cluster? The implications of Emilio Gentile's ecumenical theory of political religion for the study of extremism Roger Griffin 12. Nazism and the Revival of Political Religion Theory Richard Steigmann-Gall 13. God's Chosen Warriors: Romantic Palingenesis, Religion, and Fascism in Modern Romania Constantin Iordachi

About the Editor

Constantin Iordachi is Assistant Professor of History at the Central European University, Budapest.

About the Series

Rewriting Histories

Rewriting Histories focuses on historical themes where standard conclusions are facing a major challenge. Each book presents ten to fifteen papers (edited and annotated where necessary) at the forefront of current research and interpretation, offering students an accessible way to engage with contemporary debates.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century