Cârstocea on Traverso, 'The New Faces of Fascism: Populism and the Far Right'

Enzo Traverso
Raul Cârstocea

Enzo Traverso. The New Faces of Fascism: Populism and the Far Right. London: Verso, 2019. viii + 200 pp. $24.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-78873-046-4.

Reviewed by Raul Cârstocea (University of Leicester) Published on H-Nationalism (October, 2019) Commissioned by Cristian Cercel (Ruhr University Bochum)

Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=54462

Historicizing the Present: A Conceptual Reading of Postfascism

Previously relegated to the dustbin of history, a specialist subject of seemingly antiquarian interest and otherwise popular only as a term of abuse meant to delegitimize one’s opponents, the last decade has seen “fascism” come back in fashion, in the tow of the other two terms making up the subtitle of Enzo Traverso’s book: populism and the Far Right. The increasing importance of the latter on the political spectrum, part and parcel of a resurgence of authoritarianism that is presently experienced globally, from the “Old” to the “New” Europe and from China, Russia, and Turkey to the United States and Brazil, has conjured up the specter of “fascism,” even for (the majority of) authors who find the association misleading. As such, despite the deluge of publications trading in the subject with more or less insight, a book that explicitly aims to link the two phenomena and analyze its contemporary iterations as “new faces of fascism” could not be more timely. 

From the outset however, we are introduced to another term, “postfascism,” according to the familiar and (still?) fashionable tendency to assign a “post” to everything, from “human” to “truth.” The “concept emphasizes its chronological distinctiveness and locates it in a historical sequence implying both continuity and transformation,” underlining “the reality of change” (p. 4). The Koselleckian framework of interpretation that Traverso proposes, aware of the “tension between historical facts and their linguistic transcription” (p. 4), as well as of the importance of regimes of historicity—defined (oddly without any reference to François Hartog) as societies’ “perception of and relationship with the past” (p. 132)—is permanently present in the background. This serves to account for the “post,” as well as allowing the author to move seamlessly between events and their (re)coding, between history and historiography, in what is one of the great strengths of the book. Traverso makes it clear from the outset that the stakes of such analysis are never exclusively academic but political. Moreover, this is not only because they involve highly salient debates—from neoliberalism to “the politics of the veil,” from (post)colonialism to governance, from “totalitarianism” to the future of the Left—but, as he insistently reminds the reader, because the political structures the very academic space in which such utterances are made. Consequently, this is not dispassionate, liberal, allegedly “value-neutral” scholarship—the very existence of which he deconstructs as an “old myth” (p. 139) entailing nothing else than “anti-communist history” (p. 141)—but a politically engaged text that aims to explain with the purpose of intervening. 

The first part of the book deals with the present (as history), while the second is concerned with history (in the present), following a structure that first expounds on the “new,” only to account for it by providing a subsequent historical background. The first chapter, “From Fascism to Postfascism,” tackles directly the main subject of the book, employing the aforementioned concept of “postfascism” to suggest both the continuities (and in most cases filiations) with interwar fascism and the novelties of the contemporary Far Right. The author distinguishes this concept from “neofascism,” a term he uses to denote those unreformed parties and movements that directly reclaim the legacy of interwar fascism; while briefly mentioned, “neofascism” and its exponents are not the subject of the investigation and are consequently ignored in the rest of the text. This is a strange choice, for one of the major debates concerning the applicability of the term “fascism” to the contemporary radical and extreme Right hinges precisely on their existence. While no one would object to applying the label “fascist” to extremist organizations such as Combat 18 and National Action in Britain, or the American Nazi Party, the difference between such groups and the more “mainstream” radical Right is one of the main reasons why authors are generally wary of using the term “fascism” for the latter. However, Traverso does not even mention this extremist fringe of the right-wing spectrum, his examples of “neofascism” being limited to Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, and the National Party in Slovakia, all of them traditional political parties despite their ideology. The Italian CasaPound, an interesting organization that could be seen perhaps as straddling these two types, is likewise never mentioned. One can guess that this omission is justified by Traverso’s exclusive focus on parties that take part in elections and can thus potentially lay claim to political power, but from a conceptual perspective the inclusion of extremist, sometimes terrorist neofascist organizations in the discussion would certainly render it more complex. This is all the more so since there are certainly meeting grounds between all these manifestations of the contemporary radical and extreme Right—one need only think of the “great replacement” theory, espoused not only by intellectuals such as Renaud Camus, but also by white supremacists on the extremist fringe, for example the Christchurch killer.[1]

The chapter otherwise covers at length the contemporary (Western) Far Right, with a particular focus on France, although examples are brought up from other contexts and there is a subsection on Donald Trump, discussing the applicability of the concept of “postfascism” to his case—with an answer in the affirmative, highlighting, however, the differences from “classical” fascism. Traverso provides a compelling account for the recent rise of the Far Right by linking it to neoliberalism, the “financialization of politics” (p. 11), and the decline of the latter as an arena of ideological contestation in favor of technocratic governance, in an argument familiar at least since Peter Mair’s article on “the hollowing of Western democracy.”[2] This is epitomized for Traverso by Emmanuel Macron, whom he describes in a dedicated subsection as “the zero degree of ideology” (p. 38). This changed context also accounts for the differences between “postfascism” and the original interwar ideology, indebted as the contemporary forms are to what Traverso, following Roberto Esposito, calls the “impolitical” (p. 26). While the conceptual exposition of “postfascism” is persuasive, one is struck by the absence of any references to previous uses of the term.[3] 

The remaining two chapters in the first part of the book, dealing respectively with “Right-Wing Identitarianism” and the “Spectres of Islam,” zoom in on one of the preferred battlegrounds of the contemporary Far Right: identity politics. The second chapter delves briefly into the topic of intersectionality, highlighting the differences between the “enemies” of interwar fascists and those of the contemporary Far Right, while also addressing the difficulties of the Marxist Left in “connecting class, gender, race, and religion” (p. 56). Another subsection offers keen insights into the implicit racism of secularism (laïcité), projecting it back to France’s history of colonialism and the civilizational hierarchies woven into the fabric of the allegedly “universal” Enlightenment values. The result is an acute and nuanced reading of some recent media controversies, from Charlie Hebdo to the “burkini affair,” as well as a critique of certain strands of progressive politics, in particular “an Islamophobic kind of feminism” (p. 47). The importance of the colonial legacy (in France, but the argument could be extended to other western European countries) is also followed up in the chapter dealing with Islam, perhaps the best original contribution in the book (since the second part comprises three previously published articles). Analyzed in conjunction with anti-Semitism and Judeophobia, where Enzo Traverso can weigh in with his vast expertise on the topic, Islamophobia and contemporary references to “Islamic fascism” (appropriately followed by a question mark in the title of the respective subsection) are treated through a subtle postcolonial lens informed by a relevant historical background. The main thesis, which will be familiar to readers of Traverso from his previous publications,[4] is that after the Holocaust and its subsequent memorialization, Islamophobia has come to replace anti-Semitism as the main exclusionary narrative in contemporary Europe. However, as he is keen to point out, “Islamophobia is not a simple ersatz version of the old anti-Semitism. It has its own ancient roots and it possesses its own tradition, that is, colonialism” (p. 75). This so-called “replacement theory” has generated an impressive body of scholarship in the last decade or so, including Traverso’s own contributions.[5] An alternative view, which would partly corroborate Traverso’s statement above, is provided by what Ethan Katz has recently termed the “Orientalist school,” emphasizing the historical connections between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and their mutual imbrication in the Western colonial project, “as ‘secret sharers’ into a larger story of Orientalism.”[6] 

These interpretations also offer valuable insights into what Traverso terms “Judeophobia” (and others “new,” “Muslim,” or “Islamic anti-Semitism”).[7] Traverso traces its roots to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as to the current attitude of Western states toward Jewish minorities, which he identifies as “philo-Semitism” or “philo-Zionism” (p. 82). This results in a “tragedy” that “sets two minorities in violent opposition: one of them oppressed in the present and the other in the past” (p. 78), whereby Judeophobia becomes analogous to the old “socialism of fools” in the social function it performs for excluded Muslim minorities. At this point, however, I would disagree with Traverso’s diagnostic of “a very marked decline of anti-Semitism in public opinion” (p. 77). Recent evidence shows instead that anti-Semitism is rising sharply across Europe, both east and west, with France reporting a 74 percent increase in offenses against Jews in 2018 as compared to the previous year.[8] Moreover, since Traverso emphasizes the role of colonialism in Islamophobia, this could be brought to bear to the understanding of the so-called “new anti-Semitism” as well, arguing against essentialist notions of a deeply ingrained and long-standing “Muslim anti-Semitism” to point instead to its origins in colonial interventions and imaginaries. One such example is the Crémieux Decree of 1870, conferring citizenship to the thirty-five thousand Jews in French Algeria, with the result that “the category of indigènes became split along ethno-religious lines: Jews were made citizens, and Islam became the singular impediment for those who were not.”[9] Finally, the context of the memorialization of the Holocaust and postwar Europe’s self-understanding as anti-anti-Semitic could provide a link between contemporary Islamophobia and Judeophobia. As Dorian Bell notes in a recent study, in the era of Brexit and of populist movements across Europe that challenge the supranational European Union while remaining “at least partially continentalist,” Islamophobia fed by notions of “Muslim anti-Semitism” has the advantage of being “more discursively acceptable to many Europeans than a balder racism might be.”[10] In a pattern reminiscent of what Traverso calls “LGBT conservatism” (p. 31), Muslim minorities are targeted by right-wing discourse not on grounds of any intrinsic features (since that would breach the antiracist injunction of postwar Europe), but due to the alleged intolerance of “Islam” toward an allegedly tolerant European society. 

The second part of the book, comprising three previously published articles, applies a similar conceptual framework to the study of historical fascism, antifascism, and the uses of the concept of “totalitarianism,” respectively. The chapter entitled “Interpreting Fascism” offers a very useful and comprehensive review of the work of three luminaries of fascism studies: the pioneer George Mosse, Zeev Sternhell, and Emilio Gentile. The feature these three authors share, despite otherwise significant differences, is a focus on the cultural history of fascism and an attempt to take its ideology seriously, to understand it, as Traverso puts it, “from within, that is, starting from the language, culture, beliefs, symbols, and myths of its actors” (p. 124). This brings all three to emphasize the revolutionary character of interwar fascism, against the Marxist paradigm that treated it as reactionary, as well as against interpretations that emphasized almost exclusively the “fascist negations,”[11] from anticommunism through antiliberalism and anticonservatism to anti-Semitism. While he is mostly in agreement with the interpretation of fascism that the three authors he reviews provide, predictably for a Marxist historian one of the main issues that Traverso finds with their work is the idea of a “fascist revolution.”. He is certainly right to criticize the underestimation of fascism’s anticommunism by all three authors, their relative neglect of the issue of fascist violence, as well as, taking a cue from Hannah Arendt, their “incapacity to recognize colonialism as one of its premises” (p. 126). 

Nevertheless, the fact that fascism was opposed to revolution, the Bolshevik one, that it was, as Traverso puts it, citing Mark Neocleous, a “revolution against the revolution” (p. 117) does not make it counterrevolutionary per se, unless one decides a priori that the only legitimate revolution is the socialist one. This is a political stance rather than a scholarly one, and it leads to one of the major blind alleys of the Marxist literature on fascism. The evidence supporting it either emphasizes the (middle-)class dimension of fascist movements (disproved by scholarship that shows its cross-class appeal), or the pragmatic accommodation of fascist regimes with traditional elites (which downplays the importance of fascism as a movement). But, viewed through such a lens, what are we to make of the New Economic Policy (NEP) adopted by the Soviet Union while Lenin was still its leader, clearly a step back from revolutionary ideals and a concession to the sworn capitalist enemy? Surely no one would claim that makes Lenin and the Bolsheviks any less committed revolutionaries. While fascist regimes indeed entered strategic alliances with traditional elites, fascist elites themselves were by no means traditional, as their more traditional opponents were adamant in pointing out at the time. Traverso is certainly right to indicate that completely ignoring the Marxist interpretations of fascism is a major shortcoming for all the three authors he discusses (as well as for the impressive body of scholarship their work inspired, I would add), but bringing up the issue of fascism as “counterrevolutionary” only helps us understand why they did so. Instead, the Marxist emphasis on capitalism could help nuance “the primacy of culture”[12] all these interpretations invoke, just like notions of uneven development could facilitate a better understanding of fascism both in its local, subnational dimension, and as an international, or indeed global, phenomenon. Those seem like promising paths of enquiry, precluded, however, by the quasi-dogmatic Marxist insistence on the “counterrevolutionary” and “reactionary” nature of fascism. Moreover, given Traverso’s identification of a “political ‘family’ of fascism: a European family characterized by many national differences and variants, which nevertheless retains a shared matrix” (p. 126), it is puzzling to observe his wholesale omission of the entire literature on “generic fascism” produced by Roger Griffin and the numerous scholars he inspired. This is all the more so since Griffin’s influential synthetic definition of fascist ideology as “a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism” touches upon one of the other major concepts of Traverso’s present study, populism, much more explicitly and directly than either Mosse, Sternhell, or Gentile did.[13] 

The chapter on “Antifascism” opens with a truly remarkable commentary on historical revisionism and its different meanings, always related to “the public use of history” and thus transcending the boundaries of historiography (p. 135). With excellent examples from the historiography of Germany, Israel, and the Soviet Union, the political stakes of such revisionisms are thrown into light by Traverso, together with the question of which of them “are legitimate and even necessary” and which “unacceptable, not to say indecent attempts to rehabilitate criminal regimes” (p. 134). This begs the question of who is to decide on that, since some of the “legitimate” and “necessary” revisionisms of Soviet history were viewed in their time as “unacceptable” by Cold Warriors for whom the USSR was nothing but a “criminal regime,” and to the focus on the united front established in 1941 by the Allies with the Soviet Union against the Axis one could respond with the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov pact that is usually employed to legitimate arguments about “totalitarianism.” But I am playing devil’s advocate here—and, in deconstructing the concept of “totalitarianism” and the alleged equivalence of fascist and communist crimes, in this and the following chapter, “The Uses of Totalitarianism,” Traverso provides a cogent and compelling argument for his strong statement that “‘value-neutral’ history means anti-communist history” (p. 141). In pointing to alternative predecessors to Nazism and its violence to the history of colonialism rather than Bolshevik terror—and not just German, but rather residing with a European archive of colonial knowledge and practices, including violent ones[14]—the perspective of a Marxist historian appears very useful indeed in pointing out continuities and parallels with liberal imperialism. The importance of such a perspective, contesting the often unquestioned alleged “neutrality” of liberalism, goes beyond historiography, and has a direct bearing on contemporary debates related to identity politics or “multiculturalism” (another allegedly value-free concept that is anything but). This awareness, of the value-laden notions that become naturalized in liberal hegemonic narratives and come to structure the very field of debate rather than participating in it as a political and ideological position on a par with other alternatives, is the great critical contribution that Enzo Traverso’s work, and the Marxist critical tradition in general, has to offer. Valuable both for scholarship—especially on such contested topics as “fascism” and “totalitarianism”—and for contemporary debates—as with Traverso’s insights into the colonial and racist topoi visible in ideas of secularism or republicanism—such a perspective offers an important vantage point into a topic that all too often posits populism and the Far Right as the “bad guys” of an eminently “good,” stable, and democratic Europe, where “(neo)liberal” becomes the implicit, unstated position of “neutrality.” There is value in the honesty of engaged scholarship such as Traverso’s, whose political position is clear, and stated as such, opening itself up to criticism in ways that purportedly “neutral” accounts are typically careful to avoid.

Part political theory and part historiography, Traverso’s book is written in the vein of conceptual history, with sections dedicated to important concepts and conceptual clusters (populism, nation, laïcité, identity politics, intersectionality, Islamophobia, revisionisms, etc.). The abundance of “-isms” (all but one of the chapter titles include at least one) to which Traverso brings conceptual clarity and historical depth will undoubtedly render it very useful to students of politics, not least due to the permanent underlying layer of solid historical background that is so often absent from books on this subject. For historians, the book can serve as a useful reminder of the relevance of history in the present, as well as of how history writing is always-already political, all claims to “objectivity” or “neutrality” notwithstanding. In its critique of hegemonic narratives, the book is however guilty of reproducing a most common one. The great absence in Traverso’s story is eastern Europe, always an object of analysis and never a “speaking” subject, despite the fact that so much of the story being told involves it directly. This is true when we are talking of interwar fascism, given that the entire area east of Germany witnessed a turn to the right after the Great Depression, encompassing varieties ranging from right-wing authoritarianism through the radical Right to fascism proper. It is also the case for communism, “totalitarianism,” and comparisons of Nazi and Stalinist ideologies, with such debates raging to this day in the region. And finally, it holds true also for populism and the contemporary Far Right, given that three of the eight governments Traverso identifies in the book’s first paragraph as led by far-right parties are in countries of the former socialist bloc (Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia). Moreover, two of these, Hungary and Poland, are the countries typically singled out, and for good reason, as those where the erosion of democratic institutions as a consequence of this leadership is most pronounced. Yet Viktor Orbán is only mentioned once, despite being responsible for the most radical statements uttered by any European head of state about Islam, migration, and other issues that Traverso addresses in his book, as is Putin’s Russia, whose links with and sponsorship of the western European Far Right are well documented.[15] 

This omission disregards the importance of the region for the story in question, as well as many relevant nuances. One such example is the identification of Jobbik as “neofascist,” which at the time of publication would have been obsolete by about five years. Jobbik’s strategy of moderation started in 2013, with the result that in the 2018 general elections it was even briefly contemplated as a potential coalition partner by the democratic, center-left anti-Orbán opposition, something unimaginable in its past neofascist days.[16] Islamophobia, while on the rise in eastern Europe as well following the 2015 “migration crisis,” is articulated very differently in the area, with anti-Semitism prevailing over it in both salience and ubiquity. Parties such as Jobbik—and this is by no means an isolated occurrence—could even adopt a pro-Islam discourse, with the result that a “pro-Muslim, pro-Palestinian and pro-Iranian stance was a main feature of Jobbik’s alternative foreign policy” before 2015. While one obvious reason is anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, in stark contrast to the “philo-Semitism” and “philo-Zionism” Traverso invokes in the case of France, the other is appreciation for the (perceived) role of Islam in Muslim societies in upholding “traditional values and maintaining strict social order.”[17] Similarly, the (possibly tactical) embrace of a pro-LGBT(QIAP+) attitude of many western European far-right parties and politicians, from Netherlands to France and Germany, to name just the examples Traverso provides, would be unimaginable in eastern Europe, where the Far Right is staunchly opposed to their recognition. Needless to add, the perception of communism in the region is widely divergent from the western European one, and the voices of its victims (themselves ranging from former fascists to Marxist dissidents) much more prominent in public space. The result is a delegitimation of communism that has very important consequences for the contemporary east European Left, thus presenting very different political opportunity structures for left-wing mobilization than the ones in western Europe, as well as inflecting exclusionary narratives that account for the prevalence of anti-Semitism (due to the endurance of topoi that are long exhausted in “the West,” such as “Judeo-Bolshevism”) over Islamophobia. Furthermore, a closer look at the political economy of countries such as Hungary in a global context reveals the importance of paying heed to local and regional specificities when analyzing an “illiberal backsliding” that is experienced globally but articulated differently in different spaces.

Ignoring such nuances paints an incomplete picture of “postfascism,” as it does of the complex interaction between far-right parties in eastern and western Europe, to say nothing of the civilizational hierarchies that inform such choices. For someone like Traverso these should be readily apparent in light of the postcolonial lens he adopts in many parts of his study. This is all the more important since, as Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes point out in a recent article, the acute perceptions of such civilizational hierarchies play an active role in the evolution of populism and the Far Right in the region, related as they are to the political backlash resulting from the post-1989 “single imperative: Imitate the West!”[21] This is how the effects of the collapse of communism appear when viewed from the East, as “East-West relations morphed from a Cold War standoff between two hostile systems,” each with its own claims to moral and civilizational primacy, “into a moral hierarchy within a single liberal, Western system.”[22] Thus condemned to perpetually “catch up” to a moving target whose unquestionable superiority is presented as a given, the futility of the exercise accounts for its eventual reversal, in a pattern all too familiar for historians of the region from the interwar period and the turn to fascism.[23] Consequently, as Orbán concluded a speech delivered in 2017 at the summer school and camp for Hungarians in Romania that is one of his preferred venues for radical statements, “Twenty-seven years ago here in Central Europe we believed that Europe was our future; today we feel that we are the future of Europe.”[24] In order to prevent such a future, we must see “the new faces of fascism” in all their complexity. While I agree with Enzo Traverso’s final prediction that “things are coming to a boil, and the lid is about to come off,” that “big changes are going to take place, and we need to be prepared for them” (p. 187), I do not share his optimism. For if one of the consequences of the collapse of communism is, as Traverso claims, that the contemporary Far Right is more moderate than its fascist predecessors, the other is that its absence creates a vacuum in terms of both a grand narrative and the power capabilities that might be necessary to defeat “(post)fascism.” Even if the right words do come (p. 187), they might not be enough. 


[1]. The title of Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto was “The Great Replacement: Towards a New Society, We March Ever Forwards.” See Dirk Moses, “‘White Genocide’ and the Ethics of Public Analysis,” Journal of Genocide Studies 21 (2019): 201-13, 202. As Moses points out, “Marginal as Tarrant’s and Breivik’s ideas seem, particularly when garbed with neo-Nazi conspiracy theories, the notion that Europe is being swamped by Third World migrants, and especially by Muslims, is mainstream discourse. Since the mid-2000s, popular and respected authors have been advancing this thesis in best-selling and widely reviewed publications that are picked up by the major newspapers” (211).

[2]. Peter Mair, “Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy,” New Left Review 42 (2006): 25-51.

[3]. Piero Ignazi, Postfascisti? Dal Movimento Sociale Italiano ad Alleanza Nazionale (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1994); Roger Griffin, “The ‘Post‐Fascism’ of the Alleanza Nazionale: A Case Study in Ideological Morphology,” Journal of Political Ideologies 1 (1996): 123-45.

[4]. Enzo Traverso, The End of Jewish Modernity (London: Pluto Press, 2016).

[5]. Ethan Katz, “An Imperial Entanglement: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and Colonialism,” American Historical Review 123 (2018): 1190-209, 1191; Sander Gilman, Multiculturalism and the Jews (New York: Routledge, 2006); Matti Bunzl, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Hatreds Old and New in Europe (Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2007); Joan Wallach Scott, The Politics of the Veil (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010).

[6]. Katz, “An Imperial Entanglement,” 1192. See also James Pasto, “Islam’s ‘Strange Secret Sharer’: Orientalism, Judaism, and the Jewish Question,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 40 (1998): 437-74; Gil Anidjar, The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003); Ivan Davidson Kalmar and Derek Penslar, eds., Orientalism and the Jews (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2005); Ivan Davidson Kalmar, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: The Formation of a Secret,” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 7 (2009): 135-43.

[7]. See Daniel Schroeter, “‘Islamic Anti-Semitism’ in Historical Discourse,” American Historical Review 123 (2018): 1172-189 for an excellent historicization and critique of the term.

[8]. Jon Henley, “Antisemitism rising sharply across Europe, latest figures show,” The Guardian, February 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/15/antisemitism-rising-sharply-across-europe-lat....

[9]. Katz, “An Imperial Entanglement,” 1201. See also Laure Blévis, “Les avatars de la citoyenneté en Algérie coloniale ou les paradoxes d’une catégorisation,” Droit et Société 2 (2001): 557-80.

[10]. Dorian Bell, Globalizing Race: Antisemitism and Empire in French and European Culture (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2018), 281.

[11]. The term is from Stanley Payne, A History of Fascism, 1918-1945 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), 6-7.

[12]. Roger Griffin, “The Primacy of Culture: The Current Growth (Or Manufacture) of Consensus within Fascist Studies,” Journal of Contemporary History 37 (2002): 21-43.

[13]. Roger Griffin, The Nature of Fascism (London: Routledge, 1993), 26. The so-called new consensus among scholars of fascism regarding theoretical interpretations of fascist ideology is centered around this definition.

[14]. For two excellent reviews of this relatively recent debate in German historiography, but one that rehashes in many ways some of the tenets of the Sonderweg debate, see Matthew Fitzpatrick, “The Pre-History of the Holocaust? The Sonderweg and Historikerstreit Debates and the Abject Colonial Past,” Central European History 41 (2008): 477-503; Thomas Kühne, “Colonialism and the Holocaust: Continuities, Causations, and Complexities,” Journal of Genocide Research 15 (2013): 339-62.

[15]. Anton Shekhovtsov, Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir (London: Routledge, 2018).

[16]. Attila Juhász et al., The Year of Rearrangement: The Populist Right and the Far-Right in Contemporary Hungary (Budapest: Political Capital and Social Development Institute, 2017); Cas Mudde, “To Save Hungary's Liberal Democracy, Centrists Must Work with the Far Right,” The Guardian, May 28, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/hungary-liberal-democracy-tactical-a....

[17]. Péter Krekó, Bulcsú Hunyadi, and Patrik Szicherle, “Anti-Muslim Populism in Hungary: From the Margins to the Mainstream,” Brookings Institution Report, July 24, 2019, https://www.brookings.edu/research/anti-muslim-populism-in-hungary-from-the-margins-to-the....

[18]. See, for example, Ágnes Gagyi, “Hungary’s ‘Lex CEU’ and the State of the Open Society: Looking beyond the Story of Democratic Revolutions,” Cultures of History Forum, September 12, 2017, http://www.cultures-of-history.uni-jena.de/focus/lex-ceu/hungarys-lex-ceu-and-the-state-of..., for an excellent Marxist analysis of the postsocialist authoritarianism in Hungary.

[19]. Joseph Henrich, Steven Heine and Ara Norenzayan, “The Weirdest People in the World?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2010): 61-135.

[20]. Stefan Nygård and Johan Strang, “Conceptual Universalization and the Role of the Peripheries,” Contributions to the History of Concepts 12 (2017): 55-75, 55.

[21]. Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes, “Explaining Eastern Europe: Imitation and its Discontents,” Journal of Democracy 29 (2018): 117-28, 118. For an insightful opposite view emphasizing convergence and simultaneity of East and West and of illiberal populists with the neoliberalism they oppose, as well as the pervasiveness of imitative practices, this time of a “more racialized and immigrant-focused Western European nationalism,” see Holly Case, “The Great Substitution,” Eurozine, March 22, 2019, https://www.eurozine.com/the-great-substitution/.

[22]. Krastev and Holmes, “Explaining Eastern Europe,” 118.

[23]. See, for example, Diana Mishkova and Roumen Daskalov, “‘Forms without Substance’: Debates on the Transfer of Western Models to the Balkans,” in Entangled Histories of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Transfer of Political Ideologies and Institutions, ed. Roumen Daskalov and Tchavdar Marinov (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 1-97.

[24]. “Viktor Orbán’s speech at the 28th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp,” July 22, 2017, About Hungary, http://abouthungary.hu/speeches-and-remarks/viktor-orbans-speech-at-the-28th-balvanyos-sum....

Citation: Raul Cârstocea. Review of Traverso, Enzo, The New Faces of Fascism: Populism and the Far Right. H-Nationalism, H-Net Reviews. October, 2019. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=54462

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.