Mussolini's policemen

Behaviour, ideology and institutional culture in representation and practice

By Jonathan Dunnage

Mussolini's policemen

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8139-2
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: November 2012
  • BIC Category: Modern History, History, General & world history, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Law Enforcement, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, Police & Security Services, Humanities / European history, European history, 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999


How successful was Mussolini in creating a force of loyal and committed policemen to defend his regime and assist in the creation of a new fascist civilization? How far were the Italian police transformed under Mussolini, and how did policemen experience the dictatorship? This book examines Italy's regular police in the context of fascism's efforts to modernise and establish ideological control over the state. Contrasting the regime's idealised representations with the more humdrum realities of everyday practice, the book considers the impact of the dictatorship on the Italian police and their personnel. Presenting an inside perspective on fascist repression, it focuses particularly on recruitment, training and professionalism in the Interior Ministry Police, as well as officers' ideological orientation, working conditions and quality of life. This book will appeal to students and researchers in police history, Italian fascism and, more generally, conflict and oppression in the twentieth century.


It should be widely read not only by those interested in the ventennio but also those interested in authoritarianism more broadly.


Preface and acknowledgements
1. 'Cinderella status': the liberal police and the lure of fascism
2. The 'fascistisation' of police culture: representation and practice
3. Oppression and consensus-building: policing communities in fascist Italy
4. The performance of Mussolini's policemen: reflections on institutional culture, working conditions and welfare
5. Personal profiles
6. Facing the demise of fascism
7. Conclusion: Mussolini's policemen and the transition to the Republic
Select bibliography


Jonathan Dunnage is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century European History at Swansea University

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