chapter  5
16 Pages

By Cross and Sword: ‘Clerical Fascism’ in Interwar Western Ukraine Anton Shekhovtsov

Embarking on an analysis of the phenomenon ‘clerical fascism’ in interwar western Ukraine, we face a certain difficulty.1 In spite of the widespread usage of ‘clerical fascism’, there is as yet nothing approaching an academic consensus with regard to either its definition or a general understanding of the phenomenon indicated by the term per se. The problem corresponds to the fact that the very term seems ambivalent, as Luigi Sturzo, leader of the interwar Italian centrist Partito Popolare, used it for polemical purposes,2 subsequently giving rise to a wave of terminological speculation, some of which has run to absurd extremes. Thus, offering a clearer definition of ‘clerical fascism’ is of importance for any further national case study; we shall therefore advance a working definition prior to analysis of the phrase’s utility with respect to western Ukraine.