The Impact of the Ethiopian War on Italian Immigrants in Scotland

Remigio Petrocelli (Lead / Corresponding author)

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While Fascist Italy was fighting its colonial war in Ethiopia in 1935–6, a ‘parallel war’ was fought by Italian fascist branches abroad to retain the allegiance of the Italian immigrant communities and win their support. Drawing extensively on original Italian archival documents and the contemporary press, this article analyses how the invasion of Ethiopia affected the small Italian diaspora in Scotland. The propaganda used by Fascist Italy to justify the war and counteract British diplomatic hostility, as well as the central role of Italian fascists in Scotland, contributed to consolidating the national identity of a large number of Italian immigrants and links with their country of origin. This article will also explore how the Abyssinian war paved the way for the portrayal of the members of local fascist branches (and those who were not) as ‘enemies within’ by the British government and many sectors of the host society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468–487
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Issue number3
Early online date31 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Ethiopian war
  • Italians in scotland
  • fasci all'estero
  • fascism
  • propaganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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