Mussolini’s National Project in Argentina offers a new look at the theoretical questions surrounding the promotion of a national project within another nation-state. Using the Italian project in Argentina as its case study, it highlights the active role emigrants can play in the national discourse when provided with a free public space abroad. Informed by both its Old World roots and New World realities, the Italian community articulated their own definition of the nation which transcended the political debates of its day.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Mussolini’s fascist regime attempted to promote fascist Italy’s national project in Argentina, bombarding the republic with its propaganda. Although politically a failure, this propaganda provoked a debate over the idea of a national identity outside of the nation-state and the potential roles that citizens living abroad could play in their country of origin. In propagating an Italian national identity within another sovereign state, Mussolini’s initiative also inspired heated debate among native Argentines over their own national project as a nation of immigrants. Using the experiences of Mussolini’s efforts in Argentina as its case study, this book demonstrates how national projects take on different meanings once they enter a contested public space. It details how both members of the Italian community as well as native Argentines reshaped Italy’s national discourse from abroad by entangling it with Argentina’s own national project. In exploring the way in which nations are imagined, constructed, and recast both from above as well as from below, Mussolini’s National Project in Argentina offers new perspectives on the politics of identity formation while providing a transatlantic example of the dynamic interplay between the Italian state and its emigrant communities. It is in short, a transnational perspective on what it means to belong to a nation.
A National Project outside of the Nation
Fascist Italy Looks Abroad
The ‘New Italy’ in Argentina
An Italian National Identity in Argentina
The Nation Abroad Responds
Italian Identity in Argentina’s National Debate
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