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Ideas and Identities

A Festschrift for Andre Liebich

Edited By Jaci Eisenberg and Davide Rodogno

This volume gathers contributions at the intersection of history and politics. The essays, covering such topics as diverse as Italian identity in the Tientsin concession, international refugee policies in the interwar period and after, and the myths and realities of the Ukrainian-Russian encounter in independent Ukraine, show that history provides better grounding as well as a more suitable paradigm for the study of politics than economics or other hard sciences. All of the contributors have a common link – doctoral work supervised and shaped by Professor Andre Liebich – but have since expanded widely in the world. Hence, the authors of this work at once share a common base and yet benefit from diverse viewpoints.
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Technocracy and Totalitarianism: Paolo Fortunati from Corporative to Marxist Statistics: Jean-Guy Prévost


Technocracy and Totalitarianism: Paolo Fortunati from Corporative to Marxist Statistics


The passage from Fascism to the Republic was a profoundly traumatic period for Italy. As a result of Mussolini’s first downfall in the summer of 1943, and of the King’s and President of the Council Badoglio’s subsequent flight from Rome following the armistice with Allied forces, the Italian state, for all purposes, ceased to exist. The Italian peninsula became a battleground between Germans and Allies, while the creation of the Italian Social Republic in the North led to a bloody civil war between Nazi-backed Fascist militias and the Communist-dominated partisans. The gory images of Mussolini’s hanging corpse and the prominent ministerial positions held by former Komintern secretary Palmiro Togliatti from 1944 to 1947 provide two contrasting pictures of the brutal and radical character of the transition.

Yet, if we take a step back from the political forefront, we may also observe neat patterns of continuity from one regime to the other. Public administration, for instance, went through the upheaval largely unscathed in its structure and personnel – as it had indeed from Liberalism to Fascism.1 The important part played by public investment in postwar economic development followed a trend that was already present in the 1930s.2 The existence of a large number of para-state agencies directly dependent upon the authority of the executive, often described as a significant feature of the Republican institutional structure, can also be traced back to the ventennio...

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