- 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
On the eve of the First World War, Belgium boasted a long tradition of stable civil democracy. Between the two wars, however, its government was challenged by fascist movements, which nevertheless did not succeed in destabilizing the country. In that respect, fascism in Belgium developed in a similar way to that in other West European democracies. Belgian liberal democracy and its nation state came under the pressure of two movements that were at odds with Belgian society as it developed after the First World War. In the first place, there was a reactionary Catholic and French-speaking Belgian nationalist movement that could not resign itself to the increased power of anticlerical and left-wing political forces in general, and of the socialist labour movement in particular. In the second place, there was a Flemish nationalist movement that was looking for confrontation with the Belgian state.
Bruno De Wever is Associate Professor of History at Ghent University. His publications include Oostfronters: Vlamingen in het Vlaams Legioen en de Waffen SS (2nd edn. Tielt-Weesp, 1985), Staf De Clercq (Brussels, 1989), and Greep naar de macht. Vlaams-nationalisme en Nieuwe Orde: Het VNV1933–1945 (2nd edn. Tielt-Gent, 1995).
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