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Fascism and Antifascism in Our Time - Critical Investigations

The spread of nationalist and authoritarian movements in Europe and around the world has prompted debates about a return of global fascism. At the same time, many countries are witnessing civil society activities opposing such movements. Politicians and activists from both camps endorse like-minded actors across borders. Do these developments suggest that we are living in a time comparable to the 1930s, when the decisive marker in national and international politics was the one between fascism and antifascism?

The conference investigates the contemporary relevance of fascism and antifascism by bringing together scholarly experts on these historical movements and actors in civil society. It will discuss the interrelatedness of fascism and antifascism, illuminate their global networks and local trajectories, analyze central characteristics and ideas, and trace shifts in discourses and practices of remembrance. Other focuses are memory politics, phenomenology, and current adaptations as well as the aesthetic dimensions and artistic practices associated with fascism or antifascism.

The overarching aim of the conference is to explore whether and how the histories of fascism and antifascism offer insights into the rise of authoritarian regimes today. What makes a fascist regime? What is the line separating authoritarianism from fascism? Can we identify "tipping points"? How should a civil society react to these challenges? Do antifascist movements of the 20th century offer a role model? How can insights into such historical connections benefit proponents of a democratic civil society?


01.11.2017 until 03.11.2017


Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung
Mittelweg 36
20148 Hamburg


The conference is held in cooperation between the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn, the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, and Rutgers University, New Jersey. As part of the programme "Mapping Memories" (, it is generously supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.


Victoria Romano, Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung,

press contact

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung
Stabsstelle Kommunikation
Adenauerallee 86
53113 Bonn
Tel +49 (0)228 99515-200
Fax +49 (0)228 99515-293


Event series

Mapping Memories

Mapping Memories is an event series focusing on commemorative culture in Eastern Europe and beyond. Current events include conferences, summer schools and practical workshops. Weiter... 

Documentation 2016

Contested Memories of the Difficult Past

The Conference "Contested Memories of the Difficult Past - Eastern Europe and Its History of the 20th Century" addresses questions related to victimisation and responsibility, how art and culture are dealing with competing historical narratives, and the influence of the diaspora on practices of remembrance in post-socialist countries. The event took place from the 30 September – 2 October 2016 in Kyiv. Weiter... 

Documentation 2016

Mapping Memories Summer School 2016

The international summer school "Mapping Memories" which took place in Tbilisi, Georgia from 13 July to 17 July was a follow-up to the conference in Vienna of 2015 and focused on different historical narratives and discussed ways of dealing with these. Find the event documentation here. Weiter... 

Documentation 2015

Mapping Memories of Post-1989 Europe

The international conference "Mapping Memories" and follow-on workshop, which took place in Vienna from 29 November to 3 December, focused on different historical narratives and discussed ways of dealing with these. Find the event documentation here. Weiter... 

Federal Agency for Civic Education

How we work: Key Activities

One of the bpb’s key activities is the provision of information on the major issues of our times. Large amounts of information are made available on our website and in a wide variety of print publications. The range of topics includes European integration, participation in politics and in society, issues relating to the economy and the financial markets, migration, and social change, as well as historical issues and democracy in general. Another one of our key activities is the ongoing creation of new projects and the development of new methods to meet the special informational and educational needs of people with different learning abilities and people from different age groups and different walks of life. Weiter...