Dr Jonathan Dunnage

I am a historian of twentieth-century Europe with particular interests in Italy, right-wing dictatorships and policing. I teach European fascism and the history of crime, policing and punishment at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. My research focuses on the history of policing in modern Italy, but I am more generally interested in the comparative and global history of policing and police culture. I am currently undertaking a case study of the Italian post-war police as part of a broader quest to understand more about how dictatorial pasts influence the manner in which police forces transform, nurture and represent institutional values and worldviews during (and following) periods of transition to democracy. I am a founder member of the Research Group for the Study of Conflict, Reconstruction and Memory (CRAM) at Swansea University. I belong to the European Social Science History Criminal Justice Network. I am a member of the advisory board of the journal, Crime, Histoire et Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies.


  1. Historical perspectives on democratic police reform: institutional memory, narratives and ritual in the post-war Italian police, 1948-1963. Policing and Society
  2. The legacy of Cesare Lombroso and criminal anthropology in the post-war Italian police: a study of the culture, narrative and memory of a post-fascist institution. Journal of Modern Italian Studies 22(3), 365-384.
  3. 'Policemen and “Women of Ill Repute”: A Study of Male Sexual Attitudes and Behaviour in Fascist Italy’. European History Quarterly 46(1), 72-91.
  4. Mussolini’s Policemen: Behaviour, Ideology and Institutional Culture in Representation and Practice. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  5. ‘Italian Policemen and Fascist Ideology’. The Italianist 31(1), 99-111.

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  • HI-M01 Historical Methods and Approaches

    This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.

  • HI-M22 Dissertation

    Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HI-M81 Power, Conflict and Society in the Modern World

    This course examines key themes, ideas and processes that have defined 'modern' history. These include the rise of nation states and nationalism, the increasing totalisation of warfare, the rise and fall of revolutionary ideologies, understandings of human rights, the penal system, and the persistence of violence. This is a wide-ranging comparative course that explores the historical theories and concepts behind such areas, while bringing in case studies to illustrate them. Each theme is dealt with across two seminars. The first seminar introduces students to the debates/theories/concepts for the theme, taking a historical and comparative perspective; the second seminar takes the form of a case study, allowing students to pursue the topic in greater depth and in line with the expertise of the tutor for that theme. Students will develop a broad knowledge of the most significant ideas and developments in modern history and will be challenged to compare and contrast both national contexts and historical periods in order to consider what makes this history modern. Seminar themes may change from year to year.

  • HIH121 Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989

    The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers ¿ the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • HIH3253 Fear, Conformity and Oppression in Fascist Italy (1)

    The study of fascist Italy has over recent decades been characterized by debate and controversy over how repressive Mussolini's dictatorship was. This module forms the first of a two-part Special Subject (the other being HIH3254). It introduces students to the main historical debates surrounding repression in fascist Italy, comparing the institutional structures and levels of coercion and violence underpinning the fascist police state with those of Nazi Germany and Franco¿s Spain. The module also introduces the main primary sources used for analyzing repression in fascist Italy in the second module.

  • HIH3254 Fear, Conformity and Oppression in Fascist Italy (II)

    The study of fascist Italy has over recent decades been characterized by debate and controversy over how repressive Mussolini's dictatorship was. This module forms the second of a two-part Special Subject (the other being HIH3253). Based on the study of original archive documents, this module analyses the police state at the service of Mussolini¿s dictatorship. With a particular focus on the impact of fascism on communities, it questions the regime¿s success in controlling and preventing political dissidence, and in conditioning more generally the behaviour of citizens.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.