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Title: The deep blue line : Irish fascism and the relations between the Free State, the Vatican and Fascist Italy, 1929-1934
Author: Nastri, Massimiliano
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 2276
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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This work examines the general question of Irish Fascism, considering the Blueshirts as evidence of the crises within the government party, Cumann na nGaedheal (CG), and of its attempt at resolving them. With a European perspective, it intends to demonstrate how CG's political crisis was comparable to the inter-war one when, confronted by increasing level of people's participation and mass militancy, European liberal-conservative parties feared for the established order, its social bases and the freedoms associated with a restrictive interpretation of the constitution. With an Irish perspective, this work snows the plurality of nationalist traditions and their adaptive capabilities to provide a version of history useful and meaningful for political practice. In this regard CG's crisis was due to a paralyzing dichotomy of traditions, O'Higgins' Statist defence of a bourgeois hierarchy - big farmers, big landowners, free marketers - and Collins' legacy of pro-Treaty populist republicanism. That dichotomy corresponded to the instable alliance between social and political groups, the Catholic hierarchy, former Unionist, IPP supporters, ex-1916 insurgents. Both sides held an elitist approach that weakened the democratic adaptability of the party. The elitist defence of the social status quo enshrined in the Treaty drifted into the neutralization of politics (emergency legislation, rumours of a coup) and, once in opposition, the formation and hiring of a self-defence paramilitary force. This thesis contends that refutations of Irish Fascism overstated ideological correctness at the expense of fascism's pragmatic ambiguity, its violence conservative and revolutionary in terms of order.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available