Dal Lebensraum allo spazio vitale – la ricezione politica del pensiero di Ratzel in Italia, 1900–1943 release_rev_47f87a98-c680-4aa3-8c94-07cef56ba49f

by Nicola Bassoni

Published in Geographica Helvetica by Copernicus GmbH.

2022   Volume 77, p547-558

Abstract

Abstract. The debate on the political role of Ratzel's thinking during the first half of the 20th century usually focuses on Nazi Germany and the concept of Lebensraum, but provides little information about its reception in other linguistic contexts. In order to fill this gap, the paper explores the re-elaboration of Ratzel's political geography in Italy from the beginning of the 20th century to the end of the fascist period, when the term of "spazio vitale" (living space) became a key element of the Italian projects for the postwar "new order". The paper argues that the Italian understanding of Ratzel oscillated between irredentist and imperialist interpretations, deeply influenced by the domestic and international situation. Moreover, it traces how the second interpretation emerged at the very beginning of the century – long before Rudolf Kjellén and Karl Haushofer – and gained momentum in the 1930s, as Italian intellectuals used the concept of living space to promote expansionism and the trilateral rapprochement with Germany and Japan.
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Date   2022-12-22
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