Mussolini, charisma and decision-making

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Abstract

Mussolini's authority was established on the basis of a complex system of rivalries that existed between different agencies (political, personal, party, senior administration, traditional and parallel bureaucracies, business, etc.) which brought the competition into a political market. In this market, the Duce and the Fascist Party – each with their own respective infrastructures – controlled access to resources and exchange mechanisms that determined the quality of the actors. Mussolini was perfectly aware of this, and he managed it by favouring the most faithful and loyal of groups. At the same time, he had to be vigilant not to dilute his charismatic authority by becoming merely the organisation's leader: such work required the continuous intensification of his myth. All these operations inevitably led to a process of deregulation that upset the decision-making process.

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