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Open Access War Veterans, Demobilization and Political Activism: Greater Romania in Comparison

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War Veterans, Demobilization and Political Activism: Greater Romania in Comparison

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This article aims to further problematize the relationship between patterns of demobilization, fascism and veterans’ activism, on several inter-related counts. We argue that the relationship between fascism and war veterans was not a fixed nexus, but the outcome of a complex political constellation of socio-economic and political factors that necessitates a case-by-case in-depth discussion. Also, we argue that these factors were both national and transnational in nature. Finally, we contend that researchers need to employ a synchronic as well as a diachronic perspective, thus accounting for various stages and forms of mobilization of war veterans over time. To substantiate these claims, the current article focuses on a relevant but largely neglected case study: the demobilization of soldiers and war veterans’ political activism in interwar Romania. It is argued that, contrary to assumptions in historiography, demobilization in Romania was initially successful. Veterans’ mobilization to fascism intensified only in mid-to late 1930s, stimulated by the Great Depression, leading to a growing ideological polarization and the political ascension of the fascist Legion of ‘Archangel Michael’. To better grasp the specificities of this case study, the concluding section of the article compares it to patterns of veterans’ activism in postwar Italy.

Affiliations: 1: Central European University, Budapest, iordachinnc@ceu.edu ; 2: Central European University, Budapest, Sciarrino_Blasco@phd.ceu.edu

10.1163/22116257-00601004
/content/journals/10.1163/22116257-00601004
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This article aims to further problematize the relationship between patterns of demobilization, fascism and veterans’ activism, on several inter-related counts. We argue that the relationship between fascism and war veterans was not a fixed nexus, but the outcome of a complex political constellation of socio-economic and political factors that necessitates a case-by-case in-depth discussion. Also, we argue that these factors were both national and transnational in nature. Finally, we contend that researchers need to employ a synchronic as well as a diachronic perspective, thus accounting for various stages and forms of mobilization of war veterans over time. To substantiate these claims, the current article focuses on a relevant but largely neglected case study: the demobilization of soldiers and war veterans’ political activism in interwar Romania. It is argued that, contrary to assumptions in historiography, demobilization in Romania was initially successful. Veterans’ mobilization to fascism intensified only in mid-to late 1930s, stimulated by the Great Depression, leading to a growing ideological polarization and the political ascension of the fascist Legion of ‘Archangel Michael’. To better grasp the specificities of this case study, the concluding section of the article compares it to patterns of veterans’ activism in postwar Italy.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22116257-00601004
2017-06-23
2017-09-22

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