Breaking Boundaries: British Fascism from a Transnational Perspective, 1923 to 1939

MAY, Rob (2019). Breaking Boundaries: British Fascism from a Transnational Perspective, 1923 to 1939. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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One of the most significant historical projects of the twenty-first century has involved the examination of important transnational circuits and interconnections. Historians have lagged behind many disciplines in accepting transnationalism as a serious form of investigation. Studying past events from a transnational perspective is important for historians. It challenges the assumption that ideologies, political cultures, economics, trade and societal organisation coincide within national boundaries and it allows us to analyse a party, group or ideology’s strengths and weaknesses on a different scale and on a separate stage, thus potentially uncovering the less apparent when viewed from a single-country viewpoint. This thesis seeks to identify and understand the role of transnationalism for the far right and fascism. Using a combination of mainly archival files, contemporary newspapers, pamphlets and periodicals, this study investigates the transnationalism of the three most important fascist movements operating in interwar Britain – the British Fascisti, the Imperial Fascist League and the British Union of Fascists. It uncovers previously unknown cross-border links and influences between British fascists and their overseas counterparts. Significantly, this is the first extensive investigation focused on the transnational British far right in the interwar period. Chapter One is on the British Fascisti. It uncovers transnational influences that allowed continental fascism to exercise control over the movement, the impact of Italian Fascism and German Nazism on the Fascisti as well as its overseas activities. Chapter Two focuses on the Imperial Fascist League. It analyses the ways in which the Nazis and the Fascists impacted on the ideological make up of the League, and the transnational physical links and influences relating to the British movement. Chapter Three examines the British Union of Fascists. Investigated in this chapter is the relationship between the movement and Mussolini and Hitler as well as the Union’s branches abroad and the organisation’s imperial policy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Taylor, Tony [0000-0002-4635-4897]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Anthony Taylor
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
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Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 13:11
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:05

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