Empire and Counter-Empire in the Italian Far Right

Sage Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Theory, Culture & Society, 2007, 24 (5), pp. 99 - 126
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What old Fascisms and new nationalisms circulate in the political spaces of Europe? Through an analysis of their split on immigration policy in 2003, this article examines the myths and ideologies of the two major far right parties in Italy, the Lega Nord and the Alleanza Nazionale. It argues that the anti-imperial mythology of the Lega, based on the defence of Lombardy against the Holy Roman Empire, has led it into a modernist politics of territoriality, borders and homogeneity. On the other hand, the Alleanza Nazionale has used its Fascist heritage, and in particular the mythologizing of the Roman empire, to open up a postmodern imperial politics, involving the expansion of borders, and the incorporation of new peoples and territories. Through the use of interviews with militants and deputies, it looks at how the Alleanza has re-articulated imperial Fascist mythologies within a new pro-European Union discourse, while the Lega has maintained its role of protest against deterritorialization despite the seeming inevitability of the territorial integration.
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