Fascism without Borders. Fascist Movements in Comparative Perspective

Freie Universität Berlin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Fascism without Borders. Fascist Movements in Comparative Perspective

  • Host University

    Freie Universität Berlin

  • Location

    Berlin, Germany

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, History, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students should be able to speak and read English at the upper intermediate level (B2) or higher. Prerequisites are interest, curiosity, and the will to actively contribute to the seminar.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course description 

    This course addresses the question of what Fascism is, how it developed and changed over time, and how it unfolds in different regional contexts. We will compare various Fascist movements and regimes that existed in different times and spaces with a focus on Europe. The course will start with a discussion of a wide range of theories and definitions of Fascism, both contemporary and scholarly. From there, we are going to analyse distinct key aspects of historical Fascism in the first half of the 20th century (ideology, organisation, practices). The second half of the course deepens the comparative aspect when we look at very different movements and regimes across the globe that have been labelled as either “Authoritarian”, “Populist”, or “Fascist”. Relating and comparing such different political systems to each other as well as to the historical Fascist regimes helps us to get a better understanding of what exactly might be “Fascist” about them. 

    Learning Objectives

    In this course, students develop an understanding how conceptual terms like “Fascism” are always politically framed and loaded and at the same time can still be very useful analytical tools. They will acquire basic knowledge of various Fascist regimes across the globe and how they relate to each other, i.e. learn about similarities and differences, entanglement and dissociation. In addition to introducing students to historical and contemporary debates of Fascism, this course uses guided readings, discussions, and frequent writing to help students discover and pursue their own intellectual interests. Finally, the course emphasizes how to formulate productive critical questions, how to draft concise analytical summaries of the issues raised by texts, and how to develop and push forward own research interests.

    Course requirements 

    Attendance in class, the careful reading of the assigned course materials, participation in the field trip, the discussion of the material in class, the completion of two short assignments (2-4 pages), and the research paper. Guidelines for the papers as well as suggested topics will be provided during the first session. 


    Class participation 30%
    Two Course Assignments: 1) session protocol; 2) research abstract 15% each
    Research paper (-8pages or 3.000 words) 40%


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.