History of Communism in Europe

Volume 14, 2023

Left-Wing Radical Politics and Emergency Powers in Interwar Europe

Corneliu Pintilescu, Cosmin Cercel
Pages 7-16

Left-Wing Radical Politics and Emergency Powers in Interwar Europe

This argument aims to provide an overview of the historical context and main factors shaping the relation between left-wing radical politics and emergency powers in interwar Europe. It also brings to the fore how left-wing radical movements fuelled, reacted to and were connected with the multiple crises of the time span between the two world wars. The main argument is that emergency powers had the potential and were turned into a vehicle for an authoritarian drive, as several cases of that time illustrate. The abuse of emergency powers led to a normalisation of political violence and worked as a corrosive force against the liberal order in several European countries during the interwar period.