António Costa Pinto

"Reply: State, Dictators and Single Parties-Where are the Fascist Regimes?"

Contemporary European History



 This reply to Professor David D. Roberts' comments must begin with a methodological note. My critic quite correctly states that several of the points discussed in my article have little ‘explanatory value’. Within the history and social sciences disciplines typologies and classifications are of inestimable utility, as Roberts will almost certainly point out to his students. However, they cannot be confused with explanatory models. For this latter purpose there exist models of causality and other analytical instruments for use by those who believe that history is a discipline that is much closer to the social sciences than it is to literature – which is in itself a belief that remains far from consensual. The typologies applied to modern political regimes are, fundamentally, descriptive ideal-types that tell us little about why these regimes were institutionalised and consolidated. Put briefly, these typologies serve more to explain the how rather than the why. It just so happens that why fascism ascended to power does not explain very many of the characteristics of its use of power once it was consolidated.

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Antonio Costa Pinto   |
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