Fascism and Italian foreign policy, 1922-1928 / by Luca de Caprariis.
This dissertation analyzes Italian foreign policy in the nineteen twenties, focusing on the internal dynamic of the Regime and on the interplay of foreign and domestic policies in the New State. My research examines the connection between the "fascistization" of Italian diplomacy and the unleashing of international aggression that has been suggested by several influential studies, and, from a different perspective, by the memoirs of former prominent Italian diplomats. The second wave of the Fascist revolution in 1925 did not lead to the predominance of the Party over the Ministry. Instead, the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs carried out by the Duce and Grandi coincided with the establishment of an authoritarian system, which sanctioned the supremacy of state bureaucracy over the party. Mussolini initially pursued an overall moderate foreign policy. The internal debate on imperialism laid the theoretical grounds for future elaboration: the nineteen thirties' doctrine of "Universal Fascism" and the search for a new "European order" were based upon a set of ideas which emerged during this period. A plurality of views emerged within the Regime: conservative groups, the Nationalists, PNF's hardliners and the "revisionists" advocated different, sometimes opposite, strategies of expansion. This relative degree of "pluralism" allowed Mussolini to operate with an increasing degree of independence, gradually centering foreign policy making in his own hands. The study devotes particular attention to foreign economic policy and to the new course in emigration affairs adopted between 1925 and 1927. In both cases, it highlights the complex interplay of contingency, ideological preoccupation and international pressures which determined Mussolini's decisions. The final section on the Fasci all' Estero illustrates the dynamic nature of Party-State relations during the erection of the new state. The consolidation of the "totalitarian state" put an end to the party's drive for power. Unlike in Hitler's Germany, the Stato totalitario relied solely on centralized state bureaucracy to carry on its foreign policy.
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