Per Engdahl, the New Swedish Movement and swedish (neo-)fascism
This research project intends to analyze the ideology of the Swedish fascist Per Engdahl. This project will include the time period from Engdahl’s start during the interwar period to his death in 1994, and will thus include both the period of historic fascism and postwar neo-fascism.
Engdahl’s ideology, which he called New Swedish Socialism, was a type of anti-Marxist socialism that was against the idea of class struggle in favor of national unity. It was against political (parliamentary) democracy but for social and economic democracy.
The ideological analysis will be based on the theories of the British political scientist Michael Freeden, who argues that ideologies can be seen as a configuration of concepts, whose meanings are essentially contestable and ambiguous, but are locked in meaning by the configuration and the relationships between the concepts.
During the postwar period Engdahl was an important actor within European neo-fascism as one of the founders of the Malmö-movement/ESB (Europäische Soziale Bewegung), which was a network of (western) European neo-fascist organization after the second world war. This means that an investigation of Engdahl’s ideology spans from historic interwar fascism to neo-fascism, which few other studies in this field have dealt with.
Engdahl created a distinct, original version of neo-fascism, which makes him an interesting case study in the field of comparative fascist studies. A field in which transnational aspects have been of increasing interest lately.