A Political History of National Citizenship and Identity in Italy, 1861-1950

By Sabina Donati | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
Fascist Italy’s Colonized, Annexed
and Occupied Territories

Citizenship Policies and Native Populations
in Mussolini’s Roman Empire

Between 1922 and 1943, together with the fascist priority of introducing and strengthening totalitarianism at home, Mussolini’s regime intensified its expansionist foreign policy abroad so as to lead to consolidation and extension of Italian rule over an increasing number of colonized, annexed or occupied territories in Africa (i.e., Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Libya) as well as in Mediterranean Europe (i.e., the Dodecanese, Albania, France, the Principality of Monaco, Greece and Yugoslavia).

In Chapter Five, concerning citizenship issues vis-à-vis the nonmetropolitan populations of liberal Italy, we explored the civic accommodation of the natives within the Italian state and also discussed the official discourses that were formulated by liberal authorities when thinking and talking about them. As we explained, these debates put particular emphasis on notions of civilization and race within the colonial context as well as making, at times, some references to the myth of ancient Rome and the maritime republics.

In this chapter covering the fascist epoch, we follow the same research approach. In particular, we analyze and discuss for the first time the still partially unknown citizenship policies concerning all the populations of Mediterranean Europe under fascist Italy and examine them together with the civic accommodation of the African natives, which, by contrast, has already attracted the attention of scholars of colonial studies.1 In this way, our pages aim not only at providing a more comprehensive picture of the citizenship arrangements introduced in Italian Africa and Mediterranean Europe but also at highlighting continuities and discontinuities with the previous liberal decades. Finally, by focusing on the official

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