ASSOCIAZIONE PER LE RICERCHE DI STORIA POLITICA


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Summary 1998(1)

Summary


The fascist podestà and the building of the totalitarian state (Loreto Di Nucci)

In 1928 the fascists did away with local elections and created a new administrative position: the podestà. It was an important step forward towards the creation of a totalitarian regime. The outcome of local elections held in the period 1922-25, which failed to provide the fascists with an overwhelming victory, was one of the factors leading to this decision. The creation of the podestà was part of the pursuit for an "authoritarian normalisation". and aimed at linking the periphery of the nation to its centre by means of an act of authority. It also shows how Fascism was trying to legitimise its reforms by evoking figures and institutions which had been significant in Italian history - in this case, the medieval podestà. Finally, the podestà embodied a new notion of political representation: one no longer based on the people's mandate, but rather on individual capability and merit.


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