Roger Griffin

Roger D. Griffin (born 31 January 1948) is a British professor of modern history and political theorist at Oxford Brookes University, England. His principal interest is the socio-historical and ideological dynamics of fascism, as well as various forms of political or religious fanaticism.

Roger Griffin
Roger Griffin at Oxford Brookes University

Education and career

Griffin obtained a First in French and German Literature from Oxford University, then began teaching History of ideas at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes). Becoming interested in the study of extremist right-wing movements and regimes which have shaped modern history, he obtained a PhD from Oxford University in 1990. In his PhD thesis he first developed his theory of fascism.[1] His best known work is The Nature of Fascism (1991).


Griffin's theory of fascism suggests that a heuristically useful ideal type of its definitional core is that it is a form of palingenetic ultranationalism. In other words, it seeks, by directly mobilising popular energies or working through an elite, to eventually conquer cultural hegemony for new values, to bring about the total rebirth of the nation from its present decadence, whether the nation is conceived as a historically formed nation-state or a racially determined 'ethnos'. Conceived in these terms, fascism is an ideology that has assumed a large number of specific national permutations and several distinct organizational forms. Moreover, it is a political project that continues to evolve to this day throughout the Europeanized world, though it remains highly marginalised compared with the central place it occupied in inter-war Europe.

Griffin's approach, though still highly contested in some quarters, has had an enduring impact on the comparative fascist literature of the last 15 years, and builds on the work of George Mosse, Stanley Payne, and Emilio Gentile in highlighting the revolutionary and totalising politico-cultural nature of the fascist revolution (in marked contrast with Marxist approaches). His book Modernism and Fascism locates the mainspring of the fascist drive for national rebirth in the modernist bid to achieve an alternative modernity, which is driven by a rejection of the decadence of 'actually existing modernity' under liberal democracy or tradition. The fascist attempt to institute a different civilisation and a new temporality in the West found its most comprehensive expression in the 'modernist states' of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

His most recent research has been on terrorism. In his Terrorist's Creed: Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning he studies the origins and motivations behind terrorism. He compares the origins of terrorism to the extremes of the National Socialists in the 1930s, noting that "fanatics" separate the world into good and evil, and then undergo "heroic doubling" where they see themselves as warriors in the battle between good and evil.[2]

He has also translated works by Norberto Bobbio and Ferruccio Rossi-Landi.

Selected works

  • The Nature of Fascism (St. Martin's Press, 1991 ISBN 0-312-07132-9, Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0-415-09661-8)
  • Fascism (Oxford Readers) (Oxford University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-19-289249-5)
  • International Fascism: Theories, Causes and the New Consensus (view table of contents, Edward Arnold, 1998, ISBN 0-340-70614-7)
  • Fascism: Critical Concepts in Political Science edited with Matthew Feldman (Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-29015-5)
  • Griffin, Roger, ed. (2005). Fascism, Totalitarianism and Political Religion. Routledge. ISBN 9781136871689.
  • Griffin, Roger (2007). "The 'Holy Storm': 'Clerical fascism' through the Lens of Modernism". Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. 8 (2): 213–227. doi:10.1080/14690760701321130.
  • Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (view Table of contents, Introduction, and Index, Palgrave, 2007, ISBN 1-4039-8783-1)
  • A Fascist Century: Essays by Roger Griffin, ed. by Matthew Feldman (view Table of contents, Chapter 1, and Index, Palgrave, 2008, ISBN 0-230-22089-4)
  • Terrorist's Creed: Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning, Palgrave, 2012, ISBN 0-230-24129-8.
  • Fixing Solutions: Fascist Temporalities as Remedies for Liquid Modernity. In: Journal of Modern European History 13 (2015), 1, 15–23. (Introduction to a forum on Fascist Temporalities)


  1. ^ "Roger Griffin". Faculty page at Oxford Brookes University. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  2. ^ Maggs, Charles (29 October 2012). "Interview: Professor Roger Griffin". Retrieved 22 July 2013.

External links

Carlo Costamagna

Carlo Costamagna (born 21 September 1881 in Quiliano – died 1 March 1965 in Pietra Ligure) was an Italian lawyer and academic noted as a theorist of corporatism. He worked closely with Benito Mussolini and his fascist movement.

Definitions of fascism

What constitutes a definition of fascism and fascist governments has been a complicated and highly disputed subject concerning the exact nature of fascism and its core tenets debated amongst historians, political scientists, and other scholars since Benito Mussolini first used the term in 1915.

A significant number of scholars agree that a "fascist regime" is foremost an authoritarian form of government, although not all authoritarian regimes are fascist. Authoritarianism is thus a defining characteristic, but most scholars will say that more distinguishing traits are needed to make an authoritarian regime fascist.Similarly, fascism as an ideology is also hard to define. Originally, it referred to a totalitarian political movement linked with corporatism which existed in Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. Many scholars use the word "fascism" without capitalization in a more general sense, to refer to an ideology (or group of ideologies) which was influential in many countries at many different times. For this purpose, they have sought to identify what Roger Griffin calls a "fascist minimum"—that is, the minimum conditions that a certain political movement must meet in order to be considered "fascist".Scholars have inspected the apocalyptic, millennial and millenarianism aspects of fascism.

European Right (1989–94)

The Technical Group of the European Right was a far-right political group with seats in the European Parliament between 1989 and 1994.


Falangism (Spanish: falangismo) was the political ideology of the Falange Española de las JONS and afterwards, of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (both known simply as the "Falange") as well as derivatives of it in other countries. Under the leadership of Francisco Franco, it largely became an authoritarian, conservative ideology connected with Francoist Spain.Opponents of Franco's changes to the party included former Falange leader Manuel Hedilla. Falangism places a strong emphasis on Catholic religious identity, though it has held some secular views on the Church's direct influence in society as it believed that the state should have the supreme authority over the nation. Falangism emphasized the need for total authority, hierarchy and order in society. Falangism is anti-communist, anti-democratic and anti-liberal; under Franco, the Falange abandoned its original anti-capitalist tendencies, declaring the ideology to be fully compatible with capitalism.The Falange's original manifesto, the "Twenty-Seven Points", declared Falangism to support the unity of Spain and the elimination of regional separatism, the establishment of a dictatorship led by the Falange, utilizing violence to regenerate Spain, and promoting the revival and development of the Spanish Empire. The manifesto supported a social revolution to create a national syndicalist economy that creates national syndicates of both employees and employers to mutually organize and control the economic activity, agrarian reform, industrial expansion and respect for private property with the exception of nationalizing credit facilities to prevent capitalist usury. It supports criminalization of strikes by employees and lockouts by employers as illegal acts. Falangism supports the state to have jurisdiction of setting wages. The Franco-era Falange supported the development of cooperatives such as the Mondragon Corporation because it bolstered the Francoist claim of the nonexistence of social classes in Spain during his rule.The Spanish Falange and its affiliates in Hispanic states across the world promoted a form of panhispanism known as hispanidad that advocated both cultural and economic union of Hispanic societies around the world.Falangism has attacked both the political left and the right as its "enemies", declaring itself to be neither left nor right, but a syncretic third position. However, scholarly sources reviewing Falangism place it on the far right.


Fascism () is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state and technology. The advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war. The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky (national economic self-sufficiency) through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th-century fascist movements.

Fascism (book)

Fascism is a book edited by political theorist Roger Griffin. It was published by Oxford University Press in 1995 as a 410-page paperback. It is a reader in the Oxford Readers series, which assembles the writings of various authors on the topic of fascism and the far-right. It serves as an English-language source book to introduce readers to pre-fascist anti-liberalism, interwar fascism in Italy and Germany, as well as associated international variants of fascism from Argentina to Japan.

Fascism (disambiguation)

Fascism is a political ideology.

Fascism may refer to:

Albanian fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Albania

Austrian fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Austria

British fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Britain

Croatian fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Croatia

French fascism, a version of the ideology developed in France

German fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Germany

Hungarian fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Hungary

Italian fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Italy

Religious fascism, a distinctive form of fascism with religious components

Christian fascism, a distinctive form of religious fascism

Clerical fascism, a distinctive form of Christian fascism, merged with Clericalism

Islamic fascism, a distinctive form of religious fascism with Islamic components

Russian fascism (disambiguation), versions of the ideology developed in Russia

Social fascism, a political theory

Spanish fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Spain

Yugoslav fascism, a version of the ideology developed in Yugoslavia

Fascism in Africa

Fascism in Africa refers to the phenomenon of fascist parties and movements that were active in Africa.

Groupe Union Défense

Groupe Union Défense or Groupe Unité Défense (originally named Groupe Union Droit), better known as GUD, is French far-right student group. In 2017 members of the GUD squatted a building in Lyon and founded political movement Social Bastion.

HR 1884

HR 1884 is a spectroscopic binary star in the constellation Auriga. The primary is a G type supergiant star while the secondary is probably a B type main sequence star.The possible spectroscopic binary nature of the star was first noted in 1983 by Gilbert Burki and Michel Mayor in a paper on the rate of binaries among supergiant stars. In the same year William P. Bidelman noted that the stellar spectrum was composite indicating a companion star. Confirmation of spectroscopic binary status and a preliminary orbit was published in 1998 by R. Paul Butler, a much more accurate orbit was published in 2015 by Roger Griffin.

HR 8442

HR 8442 is a spectroscopic binary star in the constellation Cepheus. The primary is a G type giant star while the secondary's spectral type is unknown.The spectroscopic binary nature of the star was first noticed by Jose Renan de Medeiros and Michel Mayor using radial velocity measurements from the Coravel spectrometer at Haute-Provence Observatory. Roger griffin then placed the star on his observing program at Cambridge Observatory leading to an orbital solution being published in 2015.


Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, racial supremacy, populism, authoritarianism, nativism, xenophobia and opposition to immigration, as well as opposition to liberal democracy, parliamentarianism, capitalism, Marxism, communism and socialism. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet. Some post–World War II regimes have been described as neo-fascist due to their authoritarian nature, and sometimes due to their fascination with and sympathy towards fascist ideology and rituals.Post-fascism is a label that has been applied to several European political parties that espouse a modified form of fascism and which partake in constitutional politics.

Palingenetic ultranationalism

Palingenetic ultranationalism is a theory concerning generic fascism formulated by British political theorist Roger Griffin. The key element of this theory is the belief that fascism can be defined by its core myth, namely that of revolution in order to achieve a "national rebirth" — palingenesis. Griffin argues that the unique synthesis of palingenesis and ultranationalism differentiates fascism from para-fascism and other authoritarian nationalist ideologies. This is what he calls the "fascist minimum" without which there is no fascism.The idea was first put forth in the 1991 book The Nature of Fascism, and has been expanded in a paper titled "Staging The Nation's Rebirth: The Politics and Aesthetics of Performance in the Context of Fascist Studies" in the 1994 volume Fascism and Theatre: The Politics and Aesthetics in the Era of Fascism.Roger Griffin argues that fascism uses the "palingenetic myth" to attract large masses of voters who have lost their faith in traditional politics and religion, by promising them a brighter future under fascist rule. This promise is not made exclusively by fascists: other political ideologies also incorporate some palingenetic aspects in their party programs, since politicians almost always promise to improve the situation. More radical movements often want to overthrow the old order, which has become decadent and alien to the common man. This powerful and energetic demolition of the old ways may require some form of revolution or battle, but this is represented as glorious and necessary. Such movements thus compare the (recent) past with the future, which is presented as a rebirth of society after a period of decay and misery. The palingenetic myth can also possibly stand for a return to a golden age in the country’s history, so that the past can be a guidebook to a better tomorrow, with an associated regime that superficially resembles a reactionary one. Fascism distinguishes itself by being the only ideology that focuses strongly on the revolution in its myth, or as Griffin puts it:

the mythical horizons of the fascist mentality do not extend beyond this first stage. It promises to replace gerontocracy, mediocrity and national weakness with youth, heroism and national greatness, to banish anarchy and decadence and bring order and health, to inaugurate an exciting new world in place of the played-out one that existed before, to put government in the hands of outstanding personalities instead of non-entities.

Through all this there will be one great leader who battles the representatives of the old system with grassroots support. They appear as one mass of people who have only one goal: to create their new future. They have infinite faith in their mythical hero as he stands for everything they believe in. With him, the country will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of corruption and decadence.

Revolutionary nationalism

Revolutionary nationalism, also known as radical nationalism, is an ideological theory that calls for a national community united by a shared sense of purpose and destiny. It was first attributed to adherents of the revolutionary syndicalism and heavily promulgated by Benito Mussolini. This intellectual synthesis of "radical nationalism and dissident socialist" formed in France and Italy at the beginning of the 20th century. Revolutionary nationalism is sometimes identified with proletarian nationalism.

Star Men

Star Men is a 2015 documentary film directed by Alison E Rose that follows four British astronomers—Donald Lynden-Bell, Roger Griffin, Neville Woolf and Wallace Sargent—as they retrace a road trip across the American South West.

Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison (born 30 April 1937) is an English poet, translator and playwright. He was born in Leeds and he received his education in Classics from Leeds Grammar School and Leeds University. He is one of Britain's foremost verse writers and many of his works have been performed at the Royal National Theatre. He is noted for controversial works such as the poem "V", as well as his versions of dramatic works: from ancient Greek such as the tragedies Oresteia and Lysistrata, from French Molière's The Misanthrope, from Middle English The Mysteries. He is also noted for his outspoken views, particularly those on the Iraq War. In 2015, he was honoured with the David Cohen Prize in recognition for his body of work.


Tōhōkai (東方会, Society of the East) was a Japanese fascist political party in Japan, active in the 1930s and early 1940s. Its origins lay in the right-wing political organization Kokumin Domei which was formed by Adachi Kenzō in 1933 and which advocated National socialism. In 1936, Nakano Seigō disagreed with Adachi of matters of policy and formed a separate group, which he called the 'Tōhōkai'.

Ugo Spirito

Ugo Spirito (September 9, 1896, Arezzo – April 28, 1979, Rome) was an Italian philosopher; at first, a fascist political philosopher and subsequently an idealist thinker. He has also been an academic and a University teacher.


Ultranationalism is an "extreme nationalism that promotes the interest of one state or people above all others", or simply "extreme devotion to one's own nation".Ultranationalism combined with the notion of national rebirth is a key foundation of fascism.According to Janusz Bugajski, "in its most extreme or developed forms, ultra-nationalism resembles fascism, marked by a xenophobic disdain of other nations, support for authoritarian political arrangements verging on totalitarianism, and a mythical emphasis on the 'organic unity' between a charismatic leader, an organizationally amorphous movement-type party, and the nation".Roger Griffin asserts that ultranationalism is essentially racist and is known to legitimise itself "through deeply mythicized narratives of past cultural or political periods of historical greatness or of old scores to settle against alleged enemies". It can also draw on "vulgarized forms of physical anthropology, genetics, and eugenics to rationalize ideas of national superiority and destiny, of degeneracy and subhumanness".

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