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