- List of Contributors
- The Ideological Origins of Fascism before 1914
- The First World War as Cultural Trauma
- The First World War as Totality
- The Aftermath of War
- Culture and Intellectuals
- The Peasant Experience under Italian Fascism
- Corporatism and the Economic Order
- Fascism and Catholicism
- Propaganda and Youth
- Women in Mussolini's Italy, 1922–1945
- Crime and Repression
- Fascism and War
- Dictators Strong or Weak?: The Model Of Benito Mussolini
- State and Society: Italy and Germany Compared
- Diplomacy and World War: The (First) Axis of Evil
- Communism: Fascism's ‘Other’?
- Yugoslavia and its Successor States
- The Netherlands
- Britain and its Empire
- Comparisons and Definitions
- Memory and Representations of Fascism in Germany and Italy
Abstract and Keywords
This article describes crime and fascist repression in Italy during the rule of Benito Mussolini. It explores the character of Mussolinian totalitarianism and the issue of an alleged continuity between the policing practices of the Liberal and fascist regimes. In terms of its repressive techniques, the dictatorship retooled instruments and organizations that the Liberal state had forged in its social crisis or under the urgent requirements of running the war after 1915. For almost all combatants, the weakness of opposition to the national war effort meant that policy in regard to domestic security could focus on espionage matters. Only in Italy did government have to deal with active and widespread popular hostility to the conflict, organized and run by ‘maximalist’ socialists, with their own deep social roots. To confront this threat, the Liberal state instituted the so-called Sacchi decree against any public show of ‘defeatism’.
Mauro Canali is full Professor of Contemporary History in the University of Camerino. His publications include Il delitto Matteotti (Bologna, 2004), Le spie del regime (Bologna, 2004), and Mussolini e ilpetrolio iracheno (Turin, 2007).
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