‘Salazar's Splendid Dictatorship’: Selling Authoritarian Ideas in Democratic Denmark

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The chapter is concerned with the reception of Antonio Salazar’s Portuguese Estado Novo in Denmark during the 1930s and early 1940s. In Denmark’s political culture, which was more or less embedded in democratic discourse, authoritarian ideas did not fare well, although Mussolini’s Italy did evoke enthusiasm among young national conservatives, and domestic national socialists did gain small representation in parliament in 1939. Sympathy could, however, be raised for Salazar’s ‘discrete dictatorship,’ which was not in the same way founded on populist demagogues and aggressive foreign policies, and whose reserved leadership style appealed to the authoritarian mindset of a handful of Danish political and business managers with a penchant for strong leadership and technocratic solutions to societal problems. The chapter examines the way in which the ideas behind Salazar’s Estado Novo were expressed and disseminated to the Danish audience in the printed media and through three public figures: Arne Sørensen, leader of Dansk Samling (‘Danish Unity’), a political party established in 1936 and cultivating ‘a third way’ between Liberalism and Socialism; Victor Pürschel, a judge advocate general in the Danish Armed Forces and founder of the political party Nationalt Samvirke (‘National Cooperation’); and leading business engineer Knud Højgaard, who conducted extensive construction work in Portugal in the 1930s and during the German occupation played a leading part in the efforts to replace Denmark’s democratically elected government with technocrat caretakers.
TitelAn Authoritarian Third Way in the Era of Fascism : Diffusion, Models and Interactions in Europe and Latin America
RedaktørerAntónio Costa Pinto
Antal sider17
ISBN (Trykt)9780367569624, 9780367569631
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781003100119
StatusUdgivet - 2022
NavnRoutledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right

Bibliografisk note

Published November 26, 2021.