Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


Aggressive movements dedicated to racial renaissance, charismatic authoritarianism and social hierarchy marched across Europe during the years after World War I. By the onset of the Great Depression, everywhere they challenged the continent's established regimes. Only defeat in World War II and revelation of Nazi atrocities at Auschwitz halted the seemingly irresistible advance of these 'fascist' and 'national-socialist' movements. Even today, many of us fear that fascism will climb from its grave and once again terrorise the world. This unit studies the rise, fall and resurgence of European fascism, and addresses the many mysteries that surround its history. Was fascism the descendent of earlier counter-revolutionary traditions, or was it the unique product of the 'Era of World Wars'? Can one equate Mussolini's Italian Fascists with Hitler's Nazis, or were these movements too different to be merged into a 'European fascism'? What might account for the explosion of fascist politics between the wars: collective psychosis, capitalist crisis or 'totalitarian' modernisation? And what about today's European ultra-right? Does fascism have a future?

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and assess the basic historiographical issues characteristic of the discipline of History; (2) identify and evaluate the historiographical approaches appropriate for the study of fascism; (3) demonstrate a detailed understanding of the history of European fascism; (4) locate appropriate sources for research essays; and (5) present arguments in both written and oral assessments using the conventions of the historical discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) a bibliographical exercise; (3) a historiographical essay; and (4) a review essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Robert Stuart
Unit rules
a Level 1 History unit
or EURO1101 Europe Now: Cultures and Identities
or GEND1901 Gender in Australia
HIST2231 Rise and Fall of European Fascism
Contact hours
lectures: 20 hours
tutorials: 10 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.