Paramilitarism is routinely singled out as a main feature of fascist and radical right movements; however, its origins, main features, and impact have not been systematically scrutinized. Against this background, the sixth ComFas Convention aims to bring together researchers from different disciplinary fields, geographical areas, and research traditions and to engage them in a scholarly debate on paramilitarism and radicalization to violence within the field of radical right, fascist, and neo-fascist movements and regimes. We invite contributions on empirical case studies as well as on synchronic and diachronic comparisons exploring the spread of social militarism at the turn of the century, the impact of the Great War on the rise of interwar paramilitarism, the role of paramilitarism in political violence and ethnic cleansing during World War II but also the revival of paramilitarism in the twenty-first century. We are particularly interested in the role of paramilitarism in paving the way for radicalization to violence, but also in exploring the role of socially-constructed notions of gender, class, and race in forging paramilitary communities and social movements. The Sixth Convention of the International Association for Comparative Fascist Studies (COMFAS) aims at bringing these research streams together in order to foster synergies and cross-fertilization.
We invite theoretical, comparative or case-study contributions from all over the world exploring topics such as:
- Social militarism, paramilitarism and vanguardism
- Paramilitarism and radicalization to violence
- Paramilitarism and forging radicalized communities
- Paramilitarism and gender aspects; explorations of concepts of masculinity and femininity in relation to fascist paramilitary cultures
- Paramilitarism and dictatorship
- Paramilitarism before and after 1945
- Paramilitary networks and transnational connections
- Paramilitarism and gendered violence/the patriarchal cult of violence
- The role of paramilitarism in warfare and political violence in different social and cultural contexts
- Paramilitary and extremism contemporary academic knowledge-production and media
- Paramiliarism and the rise of informal terrorist cells in contemporary fascism and the radical right
- Antifascist responses to fascist paramilitarism
Please note that the Call for Applications for this conference was closed on 15 April 2023.