Confino in historical perspective
in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
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Confino (internal exile) has a history that pre-dates Fascism. While utilised in ancient times, it has its immediate antecedents in Liberal Italy. Fascism expanded the scope of practice to consolidate its political power and to exert social control. Drawing on legislation, the penal codes, and archival materials, this chapter examines the legal, political and philosophical foundations of internal exile and the factors that permitted its rapid implementation as an effective means for addressing internal political opposition to the Regime. The so-called ‘exceptional laws’ presented the rationale for internal exile, but the punishment extended beyond the purely political. Anyone considered ‘different’ could be exiled: e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Freemasons, defeatists, sex workers, abortion providers, gender nonconformists, Roma, mafiosi, Slovenians, Croatians. The chapter also considers the role of Chief of Police Arturo Bocchini and the evolution of the practice of confino after 1943.

Internal exile in Fascist Italy

History and representations of confino

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