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The appeal of neo-fascism in times of crisis. The experience of CasaPound Italia

fascism journalJournal abstract
The present works sets up to analyze the relationship between radical right activism and the unfolding of the financial crisis in Europe, investigating the extent to which the current economic circumstances have influenced right-wing movements’ political supply and repertoires of action. Using the case study of the Italian neo-fascist group CasaPound, and based on a mix of historiography and ethnographic methods, the present work systematically analyzes the ways in which the group tackles the economic crisis. We find that the crisis offers a whole new set of opportunities for the radical right to reconnect with its fascist legacy, and to develop and innovate crisis-related policy proposals and practices. The crisis shapes the groups’ self-understanding and its practices of identity building, both in terms of collective rediscovery of the fascist regime’s legislation, and in terms of promotion of the fascist model as a ‘third way’ alternative to market capitalism. Even more importantly, the financial crisis plays the role of the enemy against which the fascist identity is built, and enables neo-fascist movements to selectively reproduce their identity and ideology within its practices of protest, propaganda, and consensus building.