HST223: European Fascism

20 credits (semester 1 - 2016-17) (semester 2  - 2017-18)

Module Leader: Dr James Yeoman & Professor Bob Moore 



Pass in at least two of the Level One modules History Units HST112-121.


Module Summary

The course begins by examining the origins and development of fascism in the twentieth century, from its intellectual origins before the First World War through to its development as a political movement in power led by Mussolini in Italy. It then looks at other examples of fascism in the interwar period, most notably German and Austrian National Socialism before tracing the continued existence of fascist-orientated movements in the postwar era. Students will be encouraged to look at the various explanations for the success of fascism in particular circumstances and also to examine the various theories put forward to define it as a political and social phenomenon. The course can be linked to a course assignment and there is a wealth of available secondary source material on most of the topics covered by the teaching programme. However, students should be aware that this abundance of sources requires an emphasis on detailed research and critical reading to discriminate between the important works on the subject and those of lesser value.


Teaching and Assessment

The module will be taught through weekly lectures and regular seminars. The subjects covered in lectures are as follows. There will be seminars relating to the history of fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and other fascisms.

1. Intellectual Origins of Fascism
2. Social Origins of Fascism: The Great War and Disillusionment
3. Fascism in Power – Italy 1922-1929
4. Fascism in Power – Italy 1929-1943
5. Origins of National Socialism
6. National Socialism in Germany – Leadership
7. National Socialism – Government, Politics and Society
8. Other European Fascisms? Spain and Britain
9. Other European Fascisms? Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria,
10. Postwar Fascism in Germany and Italy
11. The Continuing Appeal of Fascist Alternatives in Western Democracies

1. Understanding the characteristics of Fascism
2. Theories of Fascism
3. The Mussolini Dictatorship: Personal Triumph or Structural
4. The Corporate State: a viable alternative to Capitalism and Marxism?
5. Why National Socialism in Germany? From Bavarian roots to National Prominence
6. State and Party in Nazi Germany
7. Fascism and Charismatic Leadership
8. Fascism and Racism
9. Were other Fascisms in interwar Europe really Fascist?
10. Fascism and Modernity

 Further guidance is provided in the module course booklet, available through MOLE.

Information on assessment can be found at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/history/current_students/undergraduate/assessment/level2


Selected Reading

  • Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism, 1914-1945 (London: UCL Press, 1995) (recommended)
  • Roger Griffin (ed.), International Fascism: Theories, Causes and the New Consensus (London: Arnold, 1998) (recommended)
  • Roger Griffin, The Nature of Fascism (London: Pinter Publishers, 1991)
  • Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History (London: Chatto and Windus, 1995)
  • W. Laqueur, Fascism: A Reader's Guide: Analyses, Interpretations, Bibliography (London: Wildwood House, 1976)
  • Ian Kershaw, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, 4th ed. (London: Arnold, 2000)


Intended Learning Outcomes
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