Rethinking Practices and Notions of Fascist Internationalism 1919–1945

Rethinking Practices and Notions of Fascist Internationalism 1919–1945

Frederik Forrai Ørskov (University of Helsinki), Martin Kristoffer Hamre (Freie Universität Berlin), Sabrina Proschmann (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)
Freie Universität Berlin
Funded by
Graduate School Global Intellectual History (Freie Universität Berlin), Centre for Nordic Studies (University of Helsinki)
From - Until
22.10.2021 - 23.10.2021
Martin Kristoffer Hamre, Graduate School Global Intellectual History, Freie Universität Berlin

The workshop aims at deepening our understanding of practices and notions of fascist internationalism and internationalism in all kinds of fields of research. We want to bring together early-career researchers working on the different layers including political, economic, cultural, gender, religious, leisure and potential other aspects. Whereas most research so far has focused on the European dimensions of fascist transnationalism, we would like to include global perspectives as well.

Rethinking Practices and Notions of Fascist Internationalism 1919–1945

Despite the nationalist character of fascism, research in the last decade has highlighted the transnational and international dimensions of fascist regimes, movements and individuals in the interwar period and the Second World War. This has led to a proliferation of case studies on concrete international cooperation in fields such as social policies, economics, culture, leisure, science and technocracy. Such research has revealed connections between ‘liberal’ and ‘illiberal’ internationalism including fascist internationalist aspirations and activities. For some fascists, the aim was less to install a new international system than to dominate the already existing organizations in the area of politics, culture and infrastructures. The interwar and war periods saw multiple attempts at creating international fascist epistemic communities – after 1936, these were often headed by German-Italian duos. This Axis show of strength was supported by both regimes. Before and during the war, fascist movements from smaller countries as well as right-wing regimes and intellectuals partly joined these international structures and used them as platforms to negotiate their dependence and independence from the fascist regimes. This shows the omnipresent tension of nationalist interest within the internationalist endeavors of fascists.

We invite proposals for contributions on the following questions (among others):
- Which actors were involved in the transnational networks? What were their motivations and goals?
- How was international fascism organized? Which structures were used or newly built? Which institutions were upheld, which were adapted?
- Which contents were discussed within the fascist internationalist communities (and which were not)? Which concrete activities resulted from this cooperation?
- How were questions of nationalism, racism and exclusion negotiated in fascist international cooperation? Which role did tensions and asymmetrical power relationships play?
- Which notions were essential to international fascism, and how were they constructed?

The workshop is planned to take place in Berlin. We can offer financial support for accommodation and travel expenses for a limited number of participants. Interested applicants who cannot benefit financially from their sending institution should state this clearly in their paper proposals. If unforeseen developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic prevents an on-site meeting, we will provide an alternative online format.

Please send your abstracts (500 words) and a short CV to by May 16th, 2021. Notification of acceptance will be announced on June 20th, 2021. In case of acceptance, we ask every participant to provide a short paper (5000 words) beforehand (deadline: September 30th, 2021).


Keynote lectures: Roger Griffin (Oxford Brookes University), Monica Fioravanzo (University of Padua)

Contact (announcement)