A fascist decade of war? The impact of the Italian Wars on the international stage, 1935-45

Aterrano, Marco Maria and Varley, Karine; (2020) A fascist decade of war? The impact of the Italian Wars on the international stage, 1935-45. In: A Fascist Decade of War. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781138574151

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This introductory chapter outlines how Fascist Italy played a distinct role in shaping international affairs in the period between 1935 and 1945, creating a Fascist decade of war. In contrast with the tendency to marginalize Fascist Italy’s role in much of the scholarship, we suggest that Italy was one of the principal causes of the international instability leading to World War II and that Fascist ideology influenced the conduct of war across the Mediterranean theatre. The Fascist decade of war is analysed through the political, military, diplomatic and cultural dimensions, adopting a dual perspective. On the one hand, the Italian angle considers the ways in which Fascist policy, strategy and ideology made this decade of war a by-product of the consolidation of the Fascist regime. On the other, the international angle seeks to evaluate how Fascist regional challenges affected the policies, strategies and ideologies of other countries. We, therefore, seek to revisit and challenge traditional military histories by exploring violence, propaganda, perceptions, ideology, empire, race and occupation, engaging with new methodological approaches. In so doing, this volume draws upon recent developments in Italian and international scholarship, providing a necessary update on the state of the field for an English-speaking readership