Tobias Hof

Tobias Hof is a lecturer in modern history at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he earned his doctorate (Dr. phil.) in 2009. His dissertation, the “State and Terrorism in Italy 1969-1982,” was nominated for the Leibniz Association’s Young Researchers Award. Previously, Hof worked as a DAAD visiting professor at UNC Chapel Hill, as a Volkswagen post-doctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and as a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History, Munich. Hof is also senior fellow of the Center for the Analysis of the Radical Right. His research interests are European contemporary history, with a particular focus on Italy, fascism, terrorism and counterterrorism, film and humanitarianism.
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Pax Romana, a Fascist Peace

During World War I, Benito Mussolini ultimately became a strong interventionist, which caused his split from Italy’s Socialist Party. He believed that only participating in a war would trigger a successful revolution at home and create the “new man.” War, however, should also establish a new realm reminiscent of the Roman Empire. Expansionism would become a defining goal of the foreign... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Fascism and Peace: Incompatible or Inseparable?

For Benito Mussolini, life was an eternal struggle. Shaped by a social Darwinist worldview and following Georges Sorel’s philosophy of the virtue of violence, Il Duce (the leader), as Mussolini was known, regarded war as men’s essential purpose in life. It was through war that he intended to revolutionize Italian society and politics, destroy Italian vices like corruption, regionalism and... Continue Reading

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Of Hobbits and Tigers: The Unlikely Heroes of Italy's Radical Right

June 23, 1980: After the assassination of magistrate Mario Amato by Italian right-wing terrorists, an anonymous group published a leaflet endorsing the murder: “To the members of the ‘Great Fascist Organizations’ we say: Fuck off, you never achieved anything and never will; … you are idiots and sheep. … Our task is to find comrades, if need be, to create them. CREATE ARMED... Continue Reading

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The Bologna Attack of 1980: Italy’s Unhealed Wound

The clock struck 10:25 am on August 2, 1980, when a bomb exploded at Bologna’s Central Train Station. The attack plunged the city, known at the time for its left-wing politics and home to one of the oldest universities on the continent, into chaos. One of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Europe, the explosion had a devastating effect, killing 85 people and injuring over 200. After years of... Continue Reading

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