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

Synopsis

This book examines the fascinating origins and the complex evolution of Italian national citizenship from the unification of Italy in 1861 until just after World War II. It does so by exploring the civic history of Italians in the peninsula, and of Italy's colonial and overseas native populations. Using little-known documentation, Sabina Donati delves into the policies, debates, and formal notions of Italian national citizenship with a view to grasping the multi-faceted, evolving, and often contested vision(s) of italianita. In her study, these disparate visions are brought into conversation with contemporary scholarship pertaining to alienhood, racial thinking, migration, expansionism, and gender.

As the first English-language book on the modern history of Italian citizenship, this work highlights often-overlooked precedents, continuities, and discontinuities within and between liberal and fascist Italies. It invites the reader to compare the Italian experiences with other European ones, such as French, British, and German citizenship traditions.

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