Legalizing Fascism: the Role of Law under Mussolini and Hitler in the Creation of an Alternative Modernity
Roger D. Griffin 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.
Griffin's approach 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.