Historian, Journalist & PhD-Candidate
Following my graduation in Contemporary History at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit (2002-2008), I completed
a journalism course at the Erasmus University (2014) before working as an independent reporter and editor for magazines
and academic journals.
Currently, I'm pursuing my PhD-research on the hybridisation of the far-rgiht and authoritarianism in Eastern European states, particulary in interwar Romania. I aim to study the government of Mareșal Ion Antonescu as an exponent of the rule of 'Balkan strong men' who in the interwar period carved out their own style of authority between the totalitarian systems of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and for whom attachment to the parliamentary democracies of the West remained out of reach.
In the current normative debate, fascism is perceived to have been generated in the interwar period. The ideology has managed to survive Hitler’s and Mussolini’s downfall, and has found ways to evaluate and adapt to different modern forms. Today, fascist movements are built on an ideological core defined as ‘palingenetic ultra-nationalism’, or the belief of the ‘rebirth of the nation'.
My PhD-research presents a complementary, but essentially different, view on fascism. I assert that its ideology is anchored in location and time in interwar Europe. In its core, fascism was a call to action (or violence), associated with a longing for collectivism (or national unity), which has integrated within itself various, sometimes even opposing, ideologies. These conflicting ideas caused an inner liability, inherent to fascism, which had to be ‘covered up’ by the themes of Eternal Victory, militarism, comradeship, the leader-cult and a common enemy.
IIn my biography, I take on a transnational approach, which takes into account the multiple ways in which personal challenges affected his decision making during the
major events of his time.