Political Economy of Fascist Politics: Consequences and Resistance

Spring 2022
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
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Political economy is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the intersection of politics and economics. For this program students will examine political philosophies and worldviews in their historical and contemporary contexts as they apply to the ideologies of fascism, far right extremism, conservatism, liberalism, and anti-fascism. Specifically, the program considers current fascist politics, actions that are associated with mid-20 century fascist regimes in Europe.

Students will study the historical roots of 20th and 21st century anti-fascism along with characteristics of anarchism which informs the practices of anti-fascists. As a counter-movement resistant to fascist politics, anti-fascism’s rationale, internal structuring, and strategies will be analyzed. This aspect of the program considers liberal and socialist political economy responses to antifa (an abbreviation for "anti-fascist") and anarchism.

Among the questions students will explore in this program are: What is fascism? How is fascism different from the far right and conservatism? What are the goals of fascist politics and how are they both similar and different from governing systems of fascism? How might we differentiate among conservative, far-right, and fascist politics?  How have liberal democracies generally responded to fascist politics? How do fascist politics intersect with race, ethnicity, class, and gender? In what ways do U.S. policing and foreign policy use fascist politics?

The program necessitates that we collaborate to better understand how various elements of fascist politics work.  This requires investigations into the relation of fascist politics to such characteristics as mythic histories, notions of worthy and unworthy victims, embracing of anti-democratic and authoritarian governance, idealization of work, promotion of nationalism and anti-cosmopolitanism, nativism, and theoretical opposition to the state as a source of social welfare. To this end and throughout the program, significant attention will be given to examining terminology so that students will leave this program with a clearer understanding of fascist politics.

Students should plan for regular background readings and short writing assignments in preparation for text-based seminars and workshops.  Students can expect to collaborate in small groups to research and present contemporary examples of the political economy of fascist politics. As a cumulative project with faculty guidance, students will develop and present an academic research paper on a topic of their choosing related to the themes of this program.  As an outcome of this program, students should anticipate leaving with a more informed understanding of contemporary politics and economics.


Spring 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30179

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

political economy, political science, history, law and public policy, education, and public service

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$20 for a booklet of supplemental readings.


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 A1105 - Lecture


Date Revision
2022-02-07 Student fee reduced to $20 (was $35)