Maghrib in Past & Present | Podcasts

France’s Shattered Empire: Fascism and Republicanism in Colonial Tunisia, 1931-1944

April 1, 2020

Episode 89: France's Shattered Empire:

Fascism and Republicanism in Colonial Tunisia, 1931-1944

In this podcast, Luke Sebastian Scalone, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Northeastern University, discusses his research project on “France's Shattered Empire: Fascism and Republicanism in Colonial Tunisia, 1931-1944.”

In the midst of the ideological upheaval of the global 1930s, fascist movements developed in countries as wide ranging as France, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.  However, European fascist movements did not limit their activities to Europe itself. Rather, they spread across colonial empires, establishing roots far from the centers of imperial metropoles. In this project, Luke Scalone examines the Fédération Tunisienne du Parti Populaire Français (PPF), an organization led by French settlers that could veritably be called “fascist,” in colonial Tunisia. Scalone argues that there were two mobilizing factors of the PPF in Tunisia: concerns about Italian fascist claims over Tunisia, and the rapid development of Habib Bourguiba’s Neo-Destour. These same concerns would, in 1940, push the colonial administration of Tunisia to rally to the pseudo-fascist Vichy France. Due to its opposition to Italian claims, the Fédération Tunisienne du PPF offers an interesting case study into two fascist movements who were combative against one another, suggesting that nationalism was a much stronger point of identification than shared fascist values.

This interview was led by CEMAT Associate Director, Dr. Meriem Guetat, and was recorded on July 16, 2019, at the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT).

Posted by Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

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