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Free Content Green Rhetoric in Blackshirts: Italian Fascism and the Environment

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In comparison with the significant historiographical work on the German case, specifically on Nazi environmental policies and ideology, studies on such issues for other Fascist regimes are still rather rare. This article attempts partially to fill this gap, at least as regards the Italian case, offering a general overview of the Fascist regime and its environmental politics and narratives. Analysing how Fascists appropriated Italian landscapes through both discourses and concrete policies, this paper examines the construction of a Fascist nature as a rhetorical, symbolic and geographical space. In particular, this essay explores the combined process of appropriation and expropriation through the analysis of two diverse but intertwined issues: firstly, Fascist rural ideology as a narrative on the mutual constituency of nature and people and secondly, the creation of the first Italian national parks, their successes and failures as institutions of nature conservation and their role as symbols of the nature/society divide. While blending the ideas of race, landscape, history, modernity and ruralism, Fascists shaped both the national environment and general ideas about nature in a narrative which affected the very object of the narration - that is, nature itself.

Keywords: Fascism; Italy; landscape; nature conservation; rurality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2021) of 0.925. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.902.
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