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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Is it possible to speak of the interwar right in Europe in terms of a dichotomy between ‘fascism’ and ‘authoritarianism’, or of ‘new’ versus ‘old’ right? The rise of fascism in Italy and, later, Germany inspired fellow radicals in many European countries. In addition, however, the perceived ‘success’ of fascism exercised a critical influence on the ‘old’ conservative and authoritarian right, as both challenge and opportunity. Forces of the ‘old’ right responded to the perceived ‘success’ of fascism with a growing willingness to learn, reflexively appropriate, and selectively adapt fascist radical innovations to fit the particular characteristics of each national context. In this crucial respect, the story of the interwar European right is marked by ideological and political convergence, as well as unpredictable institutional hybridization, between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ right that produced a cumulative drive towards radicalization and dictatorship.

Keywords: fascism, authoritarianism, dictatorship, hybridity, entanglements, radicalization, interwar

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