The Fascist Theory of Contract: A Comparative and Historical Inquiry into the Darker Side of Contract Law
P. G. Monateri
University of Turin, Faculty of Law; Law School, University of Torino (Italy)
University of Ferrara - Law Department
February 22, 2009
Cardoza Electronic Law Bulletin, 2009
This paper represents an attempt to discuss and re-assess the scholarly debate on Private Law in Fascist time. Moving from a newer comparison with National Socialism, the Authors look at the strategic devices used to justify a precise concept of law and a selected body of rules. In this perspective Roman Law could be view as a powerful means of legitimation, an historical tool apt to grant a specific lecture of contemporary times. What is under judgment is the construction of different traditions rooted in a contradictory recall to the past. With regard to contract law, this paper casts light on the rhetorical exercises framed by scholars under the fascist regime with the aim to contradict the language of the Liberal period and at the same time it discovers the absence of these techniques of legal discourse in the decisions of Fascist Courts. The analysis emphasizes an inner, structural dissonance that is responsible for the conscious choices of economic policy, discovering also an unexpected contiguity between classic liberal thought and the fascist appraisal of contract law as a cornerstone of the economic process.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: Fascism, National Socialism, private law, contract law, theory of law, Roman Law, Liberal policy, economic policy, legal traditions, legal discourse
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40, K49Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 22, 2009
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