I taught at the Universities of Edinburgh (2001-2002), Bristol (2002-2003) and Lancaster University, first in the Department of European Languages and Cultures (2003-2010) and then in the Department of History (2010-2016), before being appointed at Keele University in 2016.

Research and scholarship

My ResearchGate profile can be viewed here.

My Academia profile can be viewed here.

My current research interests are focused on four areas, all of which nevertheless share an ideas-based comparative, trans-national, and strongly trans-disciplinary approach:

1. Generic/ comparative fascism in interwar Europe

My interests in fascism studies go all the way back to my PhD research, which offered a comparative account of territorial expansion in the ideologies and policies of Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany. Since then my relevant research has expanded in a number of different directions: fascism as a concept and ideology, studies focusing on particular case studies (mostly interwar Italy, Germany, and Greece), trans-national approaches to fascism, fascism and interwar dictatorship, the diffusion dynamics of interwar years. I have also explored fascism in relation to a number of themes, such as mass violence, propaganda, architecture, and urban planning (for the last two, see below [2])

Selected / most recent publications:

  • Rethinking Fascism and Dictatorship (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2014) - [co-edited with Antonio Costa Pinto]
  • Genocide and fascism: the eliminationist drive in fascist Europe [New York: Routledge, 2008 in HD, 2010 in PB]
  • Nazi Propaganda and the Second World War (1939-45) [Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005 in HB; 2007 in PB]
  • Fascist Ideology: Territory and Expansion in Italy and Germany (1922-1945) [London: Routledge 2000]
  • “Transnational Fascism: The Fascist New Order, Violence, and Creative Destruction”, in Arnd Bauerkaemper (ed), Fascism in Transnational Perspective (New York: Berghahn, 2017), 19-4
  • “'Fascism', 'Para-fascism' and 'Fascistization': On the Similarities of Three Conceptual Categories”, European History Quarterly, 33/2 (2003): 219-50
  • “The 'Regime-Model' of Fascism: A Typology”, European History Quarterly, 30/1 (2000): 77-104

 Current related projects:

Fascism and iconoclasm
Fascists were supreme icon-lovers even as they were consummate icon-breakers. Iconoclasm (the willful destruction of icons) was a core feature of fascist violence, from its early movement days through to the consolidation of political power and until the very end of the fascist epoch. In this project trace how fascists proactively constructed the image of their enemies, identified their most potent symbols, then attacked them with iconoclastic ferocity and economy, before embarking on a project of fiercely prolific iconic production themselves.
Outputs: series of journal articles and a monograph
Expected completion date: end of 2021.

2. Modernist ideas about urban planning and architecture

This strand developed organically from my earlier work on interwar Italy and has recently become my primary area of research following the award of a Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust for a research project on the global history of the ‘minimum dwelling’ (2019-20). In parallel, I have researched the trans-national global diffusion of modernist planning and design ideas, examining how universal modernist programmes became localised and thus ‘rooted’ in such diverse places as 1930s Brazil and 1950s/60s Israel.

Selected / most recent publications:

  • The Third Rome, 1922-1943: the making of the fascist capital [Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2014]
  • “From 'minimum dwelling' to 'functional city': reappraising scale transitions in the early history of CIAM”, Planning Perspectives, (2020); published online at
  • “Minimum Dwelling” all’italiana: From the Case Popolari to the 1929 “Model Houses” of Garbatella, Journal of Urban History, (2020); published online at
  • “Futures made present: architecture, monument, and the battle for the ‘third way’ in Fascist Italy”, Fascism (Special Issue: The Architecture of Fascist Dictatorships), 7/1 (2018): 45-7
  • “Envisioning the New Man in 1930s Brazil”, in Matthew Feldman, Jorge Dagnino, Paul Stocker (eds), The "New Man" in Radical Right Ideology and Practice, 1919-45 (London:Bloomsbury, 2018),169-92
  • “The unlikely Roman path to ‘rooted’ modernism: Innocenzo Sabbatini and the Istituto Case Popolari, 1925-1930”, Papers of the British School at Rome, 85 (2017): 269-30
  • “The 'Third Rome' of Fascism: Demolitions and the search for a new 'urban syntax’', Journal of Modern History, 84/1 (2012): 40-79

Current related projects"

”Minimum dwelling”: the global history of a practical utopia for housing and urban planning
Combining theoretical enquiry into CIAM’s conceptualisations of the Existenzminimum with analysis of selected (both successful and failed) housing projects from the 1920s to the 1970s that sought to translate and apply the principles of ‘minimum dwelling’ to built urban form, this research project conducts a critical reassessment of the multifaceted yet controversial global register of the ‘minimum dwelling’ programme.
Outputs: series of journal articles and a monograph
Expected completion date: end of 2020.

The Roman road to rooted modernism: the houses of the Istituto Case Popolari in the 1920s
Based on extensive archival work in Rome and across Italy, this project examines an impressive, yet overlooked repertoire of architectural work, carried out by a state/municipal agency, and featuring the works of a team of extraordinarily prolific and adventurous architects (especially Innocenzo Sabbatini) and designers who sought to contextualise international modernist influences into the local, as well as Roman and Italian, ambiental and cultural habitat.

Outputs: series of journal articles and a monograph
Expected completion date: 2023.

3. Contemporary radical right/populism and the ‘mainstream’.

I am particularly interested in the diffusion and ‘mainstreaming’ of extreme ideas and attitudes, revisiting the false dichotomy between extremism and ‘mainstream’ political, societal, and media spaces. This strand of my research is the most outward-facing, linked to a series of public engagement activities (media, expert input in parliamentary processes in the UK and overseas, work with human-rights NGOs).

Selected publications:

  • “Populism, sovereigntism, and the unlikely re-emergence of the territorial nation- state”, Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 11/3 (2018): 285-302
  • “Far-right 'contagion' or a failing 'mainstream'? How dangerous ideas blur(red) boundaries and cross(ed) borders”, Democracy and Security, 9/3 (2013): 221-46
  • “Breaking taboos and ‘mainstreaming the extreme’: the debates on restricting Islamic symbols in contemporary Europe”, in Ruth Wodak, Brigitte Mral, Majid KhosraviNik (eds), Rightwing Populism Across Europe: Communication, Discourses and Developments (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 55-71

4. Mobilities of ideas.

This is a theme that runs through all previous research interests and projects. I am particularly interested in the circulation, exchange, cross-fertilisation, and friction of ideas on an inter- and trans-national level. Mobilities underpin my research on the diffusion of interwar fascism, on the discursive elements of interwar modernism, and on the ‘mainstreaming’ of extreme ideas associated with the radical right, both in the interwar and the postwar periods. This perspective has been as useful in my research on architectural and urban history (part of an ongoing shift from the visual to the verbal and the conceptual in the history of the built environment) as it has been in my work on fascist/radical ideational mobilities.



  • HIS30140: Metropolis: re-imagining and (re-)building the modern city, c.1880- 2000
  • HIS20092: The History of the Camp: from the GULAG to the modern refugee camps
  • HIS20075: Right-wing authoritarian movements


I would be very interested in supervising students with interests in the following broad fields:

  • fascism: ideology, comparative history, transnational history
  • modern urban history
  • modernism
  • modern propaganda
  • Holocaust
  • violence, genocide, terrorism
  • urban studies
  • modern history of Italy and Germany
  • the contemporary radical right
  • Populism


School of Humanities
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Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733109

Head of School
Dr Nick Seager
Room: CBB1.038 (Chancellor's Building, 'B' Extension)
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733142

School and college outreach
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734009