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 Marine 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.

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  • March 2018 (hb)
    May 2018 (pb)
  • 180 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509520671
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509520688
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509520695
Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Introduction: Why fascism is a ‘key concept’
  • 2. Making sense of fascism: Marxist and early liberal approaches
  • 3. A working definition: Fascism as a revolutionary form of nationalism
  • 4. Interwar fascism: Permutations of revolutionary nationalism
  • 5. Neo-fascism: Evolution, adaption, mutation
  • 6. Conclusion: Fascism, post-fascism, and post-Fascism
  • Endnotes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
About the Author
Roger Griffin is Professor of Modern History at Oxford Brookes University.
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"For the reader who wants to understand what fascism is all about, this is the best brief introduction in any Western language, from the pen of the leading specialist."
Stanley G. Payne, University of Wisconsin-Madison

‘This book – distilling and updating Griffin’s ground-breaking insights into fascism – is the most comprehensive, lucid and inspiring guide for a new wave of research and a powerful statement of why studying fascism continues to matter enormously.’
Aristotle Kallis, Keele University

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