Irish responses to Fascist Italy, 1919-1932
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This project assesses the impact of the first fascist power, its ethos and propaganda, on key constituencies of opinion in the Irish Free State. Accordingly, it explores the attitudes, views and concerns expressed by members of religious organisations; prominent journalists and academics; government officials/supporters and other members of the political class in Ireland, including republican and labour activists. By contextualising Irish responses to Fascist Italy within the wider patterns of cultural, political and ecclesiastical life in the Free State, the project provides original insights into the configuration of ideology and social forces in post-independence Ireland. The thesis revolves around a number of central themes. These include the validity of the "Fascist Revolution" and the subsequent dictatorship; the ethos of "totalitarianism"; the irredentist aims and ambitions of Italian foreign policy, and the relationship between Catholicism and Fascism. In focusing upon these issues, this thesis illustrates Irish attitudes to such matters as legitimacy and structures of governance; international affairs and order; social harmony and cohesion; and freedom as the concept applies to the individual and state.