1st Edition

Fascist Italy in the Age of Corporatism Searching for a Third Way

By Alessio Gagliardi Copyright 2024

    The interwar period was marked in Europe by the rediscovery of corporatism as a possible solution to the crucial problems of modern mass society. This was the result of general changes across industrialised countries in the relationship between the state and social groups. In Italy, it took on a uniquely authoritarian shape. Fascist regime became the cradle of a new model of corporatism, a “third way” alternative to both capitalism and communism, destined to influence both political, juridical, and economic debate and similar legislative experiments undertaken by other countries, be they democratic or authoritarian.

    The book offers an overview of corporatism in Fascist Italy. It examines not only the ideology but also the acts and real activities of corporative institutions (corporazioni). It dwells upon internal debates, the political and institutional importance acquired by corporative institutions in the Fascist regime, and the behaviour of entrepreneurial organizations and labour unions.

    At the same time, the book highlights the role of Italy in the transnational circulation of the corporative ideal by reconstructing both the considerable influence of Mussolini’s regime in a range of different political and geographical contexts and the way in which the authorities in Rome turned to coeval international experiences.

    1. The Crisis of the State, the War, and Its Aftermath 2. Syndicalist Authoritarianism 3. Italy as a Model 4. Trade Unions and Society 5. The Great Depression and the Rise of Corporatism 6. The Second Half of the ‘Corporative Revolution’ (1930-1933) 7. 1934: the Corporations in Action 8. Trade Unions, Workers, and Employers 9. The Last Phase: from International Corporatism to Autarchy


    Alessio Gagliardi is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bologna. His research focuses on Fascism, anti-Fascism, and social movements in contemporary Italy. His previous books include Il ’77 tra storia e memoria (Roma: Manifestolibri, 2017) and L'Europa del Novecento. Una storia (with Francesco Bartolini, Bruno Bonomo and Leonardo Rapone; Roma: Carocci, 2020). He is editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Italia contemporanea.