The Myth of “Liberal” Fascism at the Transimperial Volta Congress on Africa in Rome, 1938

Category: Essay 0

The inclination of fascist regimes to settler colonization is a comparably new field of research, yet it is hardly surprising that settler colonialism was part of fascism’s destructive repertoire. It played a crucial role in the violent occupation of Eastern Europe (Germany), Libya and Ethiopia (Italy), as well as Korea and Manchuria (Japan).[1] Whether settler colonialism’s paramount purpose was the total extermination of the pre-settlerist “indigenous” society or not is a matter of debate, but settler colonialists certainly did not exclude genocidal elements from their colonial strategies. All fascist regimes accepted and even promoted the “logic of elimination” inherent to settler societies.[2] Genocide (both cultural and physical) was the expression of a genuine inclination to violence, naturally inscribed into the bodies of “the settler” and “the fascist” who shared the lethal life goal of fighting for survival by imposing their own ethnic superiority on a supposedly degenerated environment.

However, while settler colonialism provided a common ground for European fascisms, I show in this essay that fascist movements equally borrowed from “liberal” colonial schemes, often linked to “progressive” colonial methods of “indirect rule” that allegedly leave indigenous societies as they are. In so doing, I argue against the notion that there was a bad (settler) colonialism and a not so bad (liberal) colonialism. This notion runs parallel to a narrative that makes a distinction between a bad (Nazi) fascism and a not so bad (Italian) fascism of the “italiani brava gente.”[3] The conclusion we might draw from this transimperial analysis is that there was neither a “liberal” and “progressive” fascism, nor a “liberal” and “progressive” colonialism that might rehabilitate colonial policies and inscribe them into the history of development and human progress. Indeed, subsuming liberal and fascist societies under the same colonial purpose is not a mind game to break a taboo, but is the result of an empirical analysis of a paramount colonialist event that reveals the transimperial character of colonialism.

Fascist-liberal colonialism manifested itself in the Volta Congress on Africa, which Italian fascists organized in Rome in October 1938.[4] The much neglected Volta Congress on Africa was a truly transimperial event and brought together colonial experts of all countries, be they fascists, liberals, socialists, republicans, or Catholics. The Volta Congress revealed that fascist colonialism was not one of a kind but highly compatible and interwoven with liberal colonialism. By analyzing it from a transimperial perspective, I suggest that we need to go beyond the fascists’ colonial “axis” to explain both fascism and colonialism.

The Volta Congress on Africa was a truly transimperial event because it assembled colonialists of most European nations and political attitudes (though no representative of the Global South was admitted) who wanted Europeans to pursue a common colonial policy in Africa. Participants thought of Africa as a way to reconcile even the most extreme political and imperial opponents within Europe. Given that, in late 1938, the Nazis were about to start World War II, originating in exactly these political and colonial antagonisms, the transimperial Volta Congress seems to be an anachronism that needs explanation.

The Volta Congress on Africa

Assembling 126 colonial experts from fifteen countries, the Convegno di Scienze Morali e Storiche with the topic “Africa” (from now on: Volta Congress on Africa) was the biggest international congress on colonial Africa held in the interwar period. It took place in Rome and in Tripoli between October 4 and 11, 1938. The Volta Congress has been widely overlooked by historians, certainly because the surrounding events diminished its importance. Four days before the inauguration of the congress, on September 30, 1938, Britain, France, and Italy confirmed Hitler’s annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia.

The Volta Congress on Africa was the last in a series of eight scientific congresses organized by the Italian Royal Academy and the Volta endowment. The expert on ancient religions and anti-Semitic supporter of Italy’s 1938 racial laws, Raffaele Pettazzoni, proposed the topic “Africa” for the Volta Congress (some say it was Mussolini himself). The fascist philosopher Francesco Orestano, trained at Leipzig University, presided the Congress, with the involvement of Mussolini’s former colonial minister, Luigi Federzoni. The governor of Libya, Italo Balbo showed particular enthusiasm and invited the participants to Libya to admire his “ventimila” settler project that settled 20,000 agricultural colonists in Tripolitania.[5] The former governor of Italian Somaliland, Cesare Maria de Vecchi, was the Congress’ intellectual figurehead. All of them were more or less close to Mussolini. Balbo and De Vecchi were two of the four quadrumviri who had staged the march on Rome in 1922.[6] Mussolini himself seems to have planned to attend the Volta Congress, but finally could not make it.

(Mussolini visiting Tripoli, next to him Italo Balbo, Bildarchiv der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft, Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main: 031-8061-08)

The Volta Congress was supposed to bring together science and practice, a combination particularly cherished by fascists who declared themselves “men of action.” The agenda sounded as progressive as colonial approaches of that time could possibly be. The organizers interpreted Africa’s history as an encounter between “higher and primitive civilizations,” but also wanted to highlight “African participation in and reaction to European civilization” by inviting Africans to give papers (which they never did). Congress participants also explored what they called Pan-African schemes but defined them in a Eurocentric way as “inter-African relations” in economy, as well as planning Pan-African “railway, automobile, areal” networks across the continent.[7]

Liberal and Fascist Colonialism: A Common Utilitarian Project?

The program seemed progressive, since it combined utilitarian (development, especially of communication networks to boost the economy), social (“social policy for the indigenous population”), and participatory (inviting Muslims to participate in the colonial project) elements of colonial rule. In practice, however, the congresses’ African development scheme meant no more than the outright exploitation of an African “complementary” economy that supplied Europe with raw material and food. The social policy should secure a sufficient African labor supply. Frequently repeated by the conference members, the “Pan-African” infrastructure efforts should serve to turn Africa into a “spazio vitale” for European settlers. Africa was thus a continent that Europeans were to exploit and settle.

What was new about this plan was that Europeans should cooperate in a common effort of colonial exploitation and settlement. All conference participants agreed on the necessity of “European solidarity” in Africa, to which they dedicated a whole section. President Orestano evoked the common past of the Roman Empire by anticipating a new “imperium europeo.” Promoting economic cooperation in Africa, he announced the birth of the “Europe of tomorrow” that left behind antagonisms and rivalry.[8]

The Volta Congresses’ agenda to bring together European liberals and fascists in the common goal of Africa’s colonization established its progressive reputation. In the only archives-based study on the Volta Congress, Emanuel Rota pointed out that “those who proposed the conference on Africa […] aimed at finding a political theme that could unite, rather than divide, the European powers, across the differences between liberal-democracies and fascism.”[9]

The “liberal” methods of indirect rule propagated in most conference papers seemed to confirm the progressive character of the Congress. Promoters of “liberal” indirect rule loomed large among the participants. Italo Balbo claimed that French colonial reformer Hubert Lyautey had inspired his colonial policy. Lyautey had established a system of indirect rule in Morocco, and inaugurated a policy that respected Moroccan culture and institutions. Lyautey’s son Pierre participated in the Congress. The British Frederick Lugard was equally on everyone’s’ lips since he had popularized the idea of “indirect rule.” Balbo himself went down in history as the “liberal fascist,” ironically also for his very liberal settler colonial policy in Libya. Among the foreign liberals was Pierre Ryckmans, a benevolent Catholic who had taken care of the poor as a governor of Belgian Congo and became something like the Belgian Lugard. After World War II, he made a career in the United Nations. Another Belgian, Paul Crokaert, played a preeminent role in the Catholic workers movement. The businessman Maurice Lippens, a leader of the Liberal Party in Belgium, stood for the liberals at the Volta Congress. Honorary governor of French West Africa Henri Labouret, who spoke Manding and Fulani and promoted indirect rule in the French colonies, represented the French colonial progressivists and the famous International Institute of African Languages and Cultures (IAI), which Lugard had established in London and to which Labouret served as a co-chairman. Among the British delegates were Donald Cameron, ex-governor of Tanganyika and Nigeria, who had put Lugard’s theory of indirect rule into practice, and Hanns Vischer from the Colonial Office who spoke Arabic, Haussa, Fulani and Kanuri and had been involved in the foundation of the IAI. The Swiss anthropologist Eugène Pittard, who prematurely criticized an essentialist notion of race and ridiculed National Socialist racism, was equally present. Although most Congress members were particularly hostile against the “liberal” League of Nations, six League employees participated enthusiastically.

At the Volta Congress, participants celebrated the seemingly most progressive trends in colonial governance: indirect rule, native policy, tropical hygiene, and functionalist anthropology. Propagators of indirect rule and native policy particularly highlighted the gains of cooperating with Muslim leaders and of using Islamic infrastructure for colonial rule, much to the taste of Mussolini who had publicly declared to capitalize on the power of the “Sword of Islam.”[10] The most important tropical hygienists from France, England, Germany, and Italy participated and sought ways to protect both settlers and the indigenous population against tropical disease to provide resilient workers for the “complementary” colonial economy. Functionalist anthropology was the youngest discipline to gain center stage, with British-Polish anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski delivering two papers on the rationality of indigenous societies.

Historiography and the Myth of “Liberal Colonialism” at the Volta Congress

By frequently referring to indirect rule, native policy, tropical hygiene, and functionalist anthropology, the Congress members managed to bring together two seemingly contradictory strands of colonialism in the 1930s: while they highlighted the functionalist anthropological and “humanitarian” colonialism of indirect rule developed since the 1920s by European reformers such as Lugard, Sarraut, Lyautey, and Ryckmans, they also portrayed Ethiopia’s violent and destructive conquest of 1935 and settler colonialism in North Africa as a way to a progressive colonial modernity.

Historians bought into the story of the liberal and progressive Volta Congress. Looking predominantly at the Italian members, Emanuel Rota argued that Mussolini’s absence gave members of the fascist movement such as Balbo and De Vecchi the possibility to voice their dissent with Mussolini and his project to import the Nazi’s biological racism and anti-Semitism to Italy. Rota distinguished between an extreme German biological racism that threatened European unity and an Italian solidary racism that united the European against the African “race.” He concluded that the Volta Congress became a “forum where the dissenting voices within the regime voiced their opposition to German style racism.”[11] De Vecchi and Italo Balbo, in particular, allegedly used it to expose “their opposition to the new fascist racism.”[12]

While Rota rightfully exposed the Congress organizers’ project to racially ground transimperial solidarity among Europeans (and rehabilitate fascist and Nazi colonialism), he is less convincing in strictly opposing the Nazi’s anti-European racism to Italy’s pan-European colonial racism. Rather, these two expressions of the same racist ideology built on each other and defined both Jews and Africans as racial “others.” The contributions to the Volta Congress are a case in point.

Between Aryan and African Race: Italy and the Manifesto of the “European race”

In Rome (and beyond), colonial and fascist racism converged. Sixteen Italian participants of the Volta Congress, among them the initiator Raffaele Pettazzoni, adhered to the Manifesto of Race published two months earlier, in July 1938. The Manifesto requested racial laws in Italy modeled on the German example by stating that: “races exist […] the concept of race is exclusively biological […] it is time that the Italians proclaim themselves openly racist.” Feeling the need to define the specific meaning of race in Italy, which had long claimed to be “Mediterranean” and thus in-between the Aryan North and the African races of the South, the Manifesto’s authors explained that: “the population of Italy is in majority of Aryan origin and its Aryan civilization […] it is necessary to make a clear distinction between the Mediterraneans of Europe (Occidentals) on the one hand and the Orientals and Africans on the other. Thus, those theories have to be considered dangerous because they claim an African origin of some European peoples and include Semitic and Hamitic peoples in one single Mediterranean race.” Having made clear that Italians had nothing to do with Semites of Eastern Africa and the Orient, and the Hamites of Northern Africa, the Manifesto explicitly added, “the Jews do not belong to the Italian race.”[13] The definition of race was clearly responsive to Nazi racism and colonial racism alike. It served to distance Italians from Jews and Africans alike.

The Manifesto endorsed the legal implementation of anti-Semitic race laws (leggi razziali) in Italy, which Mussolini introduced in 1938, also to deprive Italian Jews of their citizenship. While it is true that some Italian members of the Volta Congress voiced public criticism of the racial laws, they simultaneously acted along these racial lines in everyday policies. The ex-colonial minister Luigi Federzoni and Italo Balbo, in particular, publicly denounced the “German-Aryan” race laws. Balbo even made sure that Rome could grant Italian citizenship to Libyans, an exceptional move that only excluded inhabitants of Africa Orientale Italiana.[14] However, Libyans became only citizens on paper and reduced to subjects without real political rights.[15] Although Balbo claimed to be skeptical towards the persecution of the Jews, he implemented an anti-Jewish policy in Libya. A year before the Volta Congress met, Mussolini initiated a survey on the number of Jewish officials and soldiers in Africa Orientale Italiana, many of whom subsequently lost their jobs under Balbo.[16] The type of citizenship extended to Libyans was too vague to grant Muslims real rights but concrete enough to use it for excluding Jews.

No doubt, racist attitudes were common among all Volta Congress members, also among those who distanced themselves from the “Aryan” variant. Like anti-Semitism, “colonial” racism frequently turned into excessive violence. Volta Congress member and colonial administrator Enrico Cerulli, for instance, was responsible for genocidal massacres in Ethiopia, and would be tried as a war criminal after World War II.[17] Overall, Italians were not only racist if they publicly endorsed the Manifesto and the racial laws. All Volta Congress members were racists, some explicitly and others implicitly.

(German Pavilion at the Colonial Exhibition in Tripoli, 1939, Bildarchiv der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft, Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main, 020-5152-08)

German, French, and British sympathies

The invitation of German Nazis to join the Volta Congress provides ample evidence that Aryan racism fell on fertile ground among most participants. The Volta Congress participants even issued an official statement to support the Nazi’s colonial claims of the 1930s, which had also been the claims of the “liberal” colonial movement in 1920s Germany. In the statement, the participants officially agreed to “grant the Equality of the Privilege and Responsibility which Germany asks” with regard to the colonization of Africa.[18] German participants represented the who-is-who of German lebensraum-policy in Africa and Eastern Europe. Among the German delegation were SS-Oberführer Karl Jung, the head of the NSDAP’s colonial economy section Kurt Weigelt, the lebensraum sloganeers Karl Haushofer and Richard Thurnwald, the organicist Franz Heske, and the chairman of the NSDAP colonial physicians, Peter Mühlens. Mühlens later publicly heralded his achievements in combating malaria but withheld the fact that he would get his knowledge from deadly experiments on “racially inferior” humans in mental houses, the Warsaw ghetto, and in concentration camps. The Volta Congress thus marked the rehabilitation German colonial revisionists and the fraternization with Nazis who already announced the inhuman crimes they would soon put into practice. The participants of the Volta Congress invited both revisionists and anti-Semites to return to Africa in a common European project.

(Meeting (no place, probably 1938) between Italian and German colonialists, Bildarchiv der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft, Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main: 059-8064-20)

French participants seemed less suspicious to be racist than the Germans, but also enthusiastically engaged with the Nazi/fascist colonial project. French Pan-Latinist Louis Bertrand, for example, believed in the unity and superiority of the “Latin race,” which he wanted to extend to his adoptive home Algeria and beyond. After a trip to Germany, Bertrand became an admirer of Hitler (and “German racism”) about which he wrote a book. Georges Hardy, former head of the famous training school for French colonial administrators in Paris, implemented an anti-Semitic policy in Algeria. A year after he attended the Volta Congress, he oversaw the purge of the Algerian education system for the Vichy regime, which left over 400 Jewish teachers unemployed and excluded thousands of Jewish children from primary and secondary education. In so doing, Hardy went well beyond the anti-Jewish laws in the metropole. Many of the Algerian Jews were subsequently deported. In the French case, and particularly in Algeria, colonial racism and anti-Semitic racism converged.

British colonial experts, who considered themselves the most liberal participants of the Volta Congress, turned a blind eye on its fascist agenda or openly admired it. James Erasmus Tracy Phillips, who claimed to have democratized British rule as administrator in East Africa, reported that the Italian organizers were friendly and “natural” without any signs of fascist “propaganda fide.”[19] The same Tracy Philips admired and popularized Mussolini and his colonization schemes, especially the settler colonization in Libya. As Patrick Bernhard has shown, he was not alone to do so. British agriculturalist and anti-capitalist Edward John Russell praised the Italian colonization efforts to be social rather than “purely economic,” and the American Ruth Sterling Frost admired its “utopian quality” in terms of ‘racial improvement.’ British peasants even asked for a permission to settle in Libya as colonists.[20] The Volta Congress played an important role in giving Italy’s colonial project a good name, after its reputation had suffered during the violent war to conquer Ethiopia in 1935–36.

Altogether, the members’ anti-Semitism might have had different origins, such as racist, anti-capitalist, Catholic, Islamophile etc., and manifested itself in varying degrees of radicalism that ranged from harassment to genocide. Nevertheless, all of them, consciously or unconsciously, argued in a racist way, also those who considered themselves liberals and anti-capitalists.

What was the Volta Congresses’ function for liberals? It seems natural to read it as being part of the (over-)liberal appeasement policy toward fascist countries en vogue in 1938, when the world had accepted Japan’s invasion in Manchuria and Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia, refused to intervene against Franco in the Spanish civil war, and agreed to Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia and Austria. Yet, liberals at the Volta Congress had no such an agenda. While appeasement was a (failing) strategy to prevent destructive violence within Europe, it was unnecessary in global colonialist circles that had long accepted destructive violence as a legitimate tool of government. Instead of appeasing fascist colonialism and its threat to Western values, destructive violence was part of Western values in the colonies. Thus, instead of planning to mitigate fascist colonialism by embracing it, the non-fascists at the Volta Congress were simply enthusiastic about the new possibilities fascist colonial projects opened for colonial science and practice. Participating in the Volta Congress was not an act of appeasement but an endorsement of racist exclusion and colonial violence.

The transimperiality of the Volta Congress revealed the compatibility of liberal and fascist colonialism. The Volta Congress was transimperial in time and space because the participants saw in the project of fascist-liberal cooperation a revival of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire seemed to have combined the “necessary” conquest, settlement policies, and indirect rule over the conquered people who could even maintain their own culture and law. The Roman Empire was republican and fascist, monarchic and Catholic, European and (North-) African, shaped by internal and external settler colonialism, as well as indirect rule and native policy. In 1938, the Roman Empire’s syncretism appealed equally to liberals, fascists, Catholics, and republicans who constantly referred to the Roman Empire.

None of the participants escaped racist thinking, which was an important common denominator. Colonialism and racism were inherent to all Western societies, whether they were explicit or not. Indeed, the colonized seemed to care little whether fascists, republicans, or liberals oppressed them. In all cases, they faced lethal violence, structural discrimination, and highly restricted opportunities to pursue their careers in the colonial society. Fascists might have developed a particularly violent version of colonialism, but it differed from “liberal” colonialism only in detail and not in essence. Racism, both “fascist” and “liberal” was the glue for that transimperial alliance that materialized in the Volta Congress on Africa.

Further Reading

Patrick Bernhard: Borrowing from Mussolini: Nazi Germany’s Colonial Aspirations in the Shadow of Italian Expansionism, in:Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 41/4 (2013), pp. 617–643.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Mia Fuller (eds.): Italian Colonialism, New York 2005.

Daniel Hedinger: Die Achse: Berlin – Rom – Tokio, München 2021.

Roberta Pergher: Mussolini’s Nation-Empire: Sovereignty and Settlement in Italy’s Borderlands, 1922–1943, Cambridge 2018.

Emanuel Rota: ‘We Will Never Leave.’ The Reale Accademia d’Italia and the Invention of a Fascist Africanism, in: Fascism 2 (2013), pp. 161–182.

Florian Wagner, Colonial Internationalism and the Governmentality of Empire, 1893–1982, forthcoming Cambridge 2022.

[1] Daniel Hedinger: Die Achse: Berlin – Rom – Tokio, München 2021; Karsten Linne: Deutschland jenseits des Äquators?: Die NS-Kolonialplanungen für Afrika, Berlin 2008; Roberta Pergher: Mussolini’s Nation-Empire: Sovereignty and Settlement in Italy’s Borderlands, 1922–1943, Cambridge 2018, pp. 6–8; Gian-Luca Podestà: Colonists and “Demographic” Colonists: Family and Society in Italian Africa, in: Annales de démographie historique 122/2 (2011), pp. 205–231; Federico Cresti: The Early Years of the Agency for the Colonization of Cyrenaica (1932–1935), in: Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Mia Fuller (eds.): Italian Colonialism, New York 2005, pp. 73–82; Prasenjit Duara: Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern, Lanham 2003.

[2] Patrick Wolfe: Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native, in: Journal of Genocide Research 8/4 (2006), pp. 387–409.

[3] Filippo Focardi: Il cattivo tedesco e il bravo italiano: La rimozione delle colpe della seconda guerra mondiale, Rome 2013; Pergher: Mussolini’s Nation-Empire, p. 162.

[4] For a more detailed analysis and references see Florian Wagner, Colonial Internationalism and the Governmentality of Empire, 1893–1982, forthcoming Cambridge 2022.

[5] Pergher: Mussolini’s Nation-Empire, p. 7.

[6] Balbo and De Vecchi were said to have dissociated themselves from Mussolini in the 1930s. However, that does not mean that they dismissed fascism and colonialism; Giulia Albanese: The March on Rome, New York 2019.

[7] Reale Accademia d’Italia and Fondazione Alessandro Volta (ed.): VIII Convegno “Volta”-Roma, 4–11 Ottobre 1938, Tema: L’Africa, Rome 1939, Vol. 1, Preface pp. 6–7. In this essay, I refer to these conference proceedings.

[8] Reale Accademia: Convegno “Volta,” Vol. 1, p. 24.

[9] Emanuel Rota: ‘We Will Never Leave.’ The Reale Accademia d’Italia and the Invention of a Fascist Africanism, in: Fascism 2 (2013) pp. 161–182: 165.

[10] Pergher: Mussoloni’s Nation-Empire, p. 176.

[11] Rota, ‘We Will Never Leave,’ p. 161.

[12] Ibid., p. 162.

[13] (Accessed: 25. June 2021).

[14] Nicola Camilleri: Colonial Subjects and Others: Racism and Inequality during Italian Rule in the Horn of Africa in: Northeast African Studies 20/1–2 (2020), pp. 27–58.

[15] Pergher: Mussoloni’s Nation-Empire, pp. 184–191.

[16] Podestà, Colonists, p. 209.

[17] James De Lorenzi: The Orientalist on Trial: Enrico Cerulli and the United Nations War Crimes Commission, in: Northeast African Studies 1–2 (2018), pp. 165–200.

[18] James Erasmus Tracy Philipps: The Volta Meeting in Rome, in: Journal of the Royal African Society38/150 (1939), pp. 19–32: 20–21 and 24–25.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Patrick Bernhard: Borrowing from Mussolini: Nazi Germany’s Colonial Aspirations in the Shadow of Italian Expansionism, in:Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 41/4 (2013), pp. 617–643: 620.

Author profile

Florian Wagner holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and is assistant professor at the University of Erfurt. He specializes in colonial history, history of migration, and environmental history, looking mainly at interconnections between Europe, Asia, and Africa. His book on "Colonial Internationalism and the Governmentality of Empire, 1893-1982" is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in 2021. It shows how self-styled colonial experts who established the International Colonial Institute in 1893 reshaped the world's colonial policies in fields as different as colonial law and labor recruitment, the training of colonial administrators, tropical agriculture and medicine, indigenous representation in local councils and international organizations, as well as sustained development based on mutual aid and micro credits. His book project is on the history of repatriations in a global perspective and examines the various attempts of European governments, NGOs, and international organizations to make migration undone. I use a critical approach to the concept of repatriation by situating it in a historical context that extends roughly from the 1960s to the 1990s. A fellowship granted by the German Historical Institue at UC Berkeley gave me the opportunity to explore various processes of repatriation that allows a comparative view on remigrations in the world.

• Florian Wagner and Cornel Zwierlein, "Close Distance: Social Segregation in Trading Empires and Colonies—An Introduction" Journal of Modern European History 18,2 (2020), 140-155
• Florian Wagner, "Inventing Colonial Agronomy: Buitenzorg and the Transition from the Western to the Eastern Model of Colonial Agriculture, 1880s–1930s," in: Ulrike Kirchberger and Brett Bennett, Environments of Empire: Networks and Agents of Ecological Change (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press), 103-128:
• Florian Wagner, "Naturism, the Permanent Mandates Commission and the Denial of the Violent Nature of Colonialism", in: Haakon A. Ikonomou and Karen Gram-Skjoldager (ed.), The League of Nations. Perspectives from the Present (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2019), 78-89.
• Florian Wagner, " Non-European Perspectives on the Weimar Republic and the German Dream of Empire (1919–1930s)", in Comparativ 26, 6 (2016), 56-72, Special Issue Citizenship in European Empires after the First World War, ed. by Sara Lorenzini.

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