The word 'fascism' is used so frequently in journalism and social media that it sometimes appears to have become a catch-all term of abuse, applicable to anyone on the political Right, from Hitler to Donald Trump, and from Putin to Thatcher. While some argue that it lacks any distinctive conceptual meaning at all, others have supplied highly specific and elaborate definitions of its 'essential' features. It is therefore a concept that presents unique challenges for any student of political theory or history.
In this accessible book, Roger Griffin, one of the world's leading authorities on fascism, brings welcome clarity to this controversial and difficult ideology. Examining its origins and development as a political concept, from its historical beginnings in 1920s Italy right up until the current day, Griffin guides students through the confusing maze of literature and debates surrounding the nature, definition and meaning of fascism. Elucidating with skill and precision its essential dynamic as a utopian ideology of national/racial rebirth, Griffin goes on to examine its post-Second World War mutations, as well as its relevance to achieving a nuanced understanding of contemporary right-wing political phenomena, ranging from Marie Le Pen to Golden Dawn.
This concise and engaging volume will be of great interest to all students of political theory, the history of political thought, and modern history, bringing them up to speed with one of the most multi-layered, adaptable, and destructive concepts of modern times.