In 2000, the far-right parties were restrained to the peripheries of the European political landscape. But, within a few years, they caught up more visibility in national parliaments. Their breakthrough, likewise the victories of Erdogan in Turkey, Modi in India, Duterte in Philippines, Trump in the United States or Bolsonaro in Brazil, has provoked a “radicalisation of identities” in part of the traditional right wing.
Are we witnessing a “fascistization” of the political system? Should we fear a “comeback of fascism”? Far from being the preserve of specialists, these issues have sensitised a lot of writers, artists, politicians (and even the Pope himself). They also reignited major historiographical discussions: is fascism a particular historical phenomenon or a notion which goes beyond its initial geographical and historical context? What is the role of analogy and anachronism in historical analysis? Fourteen historians and political scientists accepted to speak out about these issues.
During the beginning of the health crisis, we wondered if our special issue would risk to seem out of place or obsolete. That does not seem to be the case. In the whole world, the Far-right parties tried to take advantage of the health emergency. They disseminated some “conspiracy-theory interpretations”, demanded the closing of borders and stand up against confinement policies.
In these circumstances, we came across the work of Sosthen Hennekam (who graciously accepted to illustrate this special issue) which is about the architecture of Milan, the birthplace of fascism and one of the most cities that have been Covid affected.
Special issue coordinated by Federica Bertagna and Sabina Loriga.