This study argues that the Fascists' takeover of political power in Italy was determined by their strategy of violence. In contrast to analyses based on the Fascists' "social base," it shows that the greater the level of Socialist power, the more likely was a Fascist takeover. A comparative analysis of Italy's 69 provinces employs qualitative and quantitative historical data to examine the relationships among the following variables: The composition of wage workers; the strength of the Socialists, the level of political participation; the frequency of Fascist violence; and the Fascists' political takeover in the province. Structural equation modeling (EQS) is employed to estimate several equations simultaneously and to decompose effects into their direct and indirect components. The findings demonstrate that the data fit the model that includes political violence and are not consistent with the alternative approach relating to the Fascists' social base of support.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science