António Costa Pinto
The Nature of Fascism Revisited
SSM-Columbia University Press
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Fascism continues to fascinate scholars within the social sciences, perhaps as much as communism, that other great non-democratic'-ism' of the 20th century. Moreover, the already voluminous academic literature on contemporary dictatorships often returns to the fascist and dictatorial regimes of the interwar period.In recent years the social science literature has returned to the question of the factors leading to the survival or downfall of the dictatorships and dictators: the construction of legitimacy, the regimes' capacity to distribute resources, divisions within the power coalitions, the political institutions of the dictatorships, their capacity for survival and the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion. On the other hand, the survival (and appearance) of several dictatorships after the end of the Cold War and, particularly, the increasing complexity of their institutions, has led to a new field of study into the hybrid nature of many contemporary political regimes that were already present in the political landscape of the 'era of fascism'. This series of essays by António Costa Pinto are symbolic of a 'new institutionalist' turn in the study of fascism, reassessing its previously neglected dimensions, such as decision-making, or nominally democratic institutions, such as legislatures and parties, which are typically integral to a dictatorial regime.