Action Party (Italy)

Action Party
Partito d'Azione
President Carlo Rosselli
Emilio Lussu
Ferruccio Parri
Ugo La Malfa
Ernesto Rossi
Founder (s) Carlo Rosselli, Gaetano Salvemini, Sandro Pertini
Founded July 1, 1929 (1929-07-01) (as GL)
June 14, 1942 (1942-06-14) (as PA)
Dissolved 25 April 1947
Newspaper L'Italia Libera
Armed wing Giustizia e Libertà
Ideology Anti-fascism
Liberal socialism[1][2]
Political position Centre-left[3]
National affiliation National Liberation Committee (1943-1945)
International affiliation None
Colours      Green
Party flag

The Action Party (Partito d'Azione, PdA) was a liberal socialist political party in Italy.[1]


Founded in July 1942 by former militants of Giustizia e Libertà ("Justice and Freedom"), liberal socialists, and democrats. Ideologically they were heirs to the "Liberal Socialism" of Carlo Rosselli and to Piero Gobetti's "Liberal Revolution", whose writings rejected Marxist "economic determinism" and aimed at the overcoming of class struggle and for a new shape of Socialism, respect for civil liberty and for radical change in both the social and the economic structure of Italy. From January 1943 it published a clandestine newspaper, L'Italia Libera ("Free Italy"), edited by Leone Ginzburg. In the same year members of the Party came into contact with Allied secret services stationed in neutral Switzerland. In particular, this activity was commissioned to Filippo Caracciolo which had a special relationship with British Special Operations Executive. Caracciolo tried to avoid Allied bombing on Italy, but most of all he tried to get British support for an Anti-Fascist Committee that was supposed to lead the new government after an anti-Mussolini coup.[4]

After the armistice of 8 September 1943, as a central member of the National Liberation Committee, the Action Party actively participated in the Italian resistance movement with units of Giustizia e Libertà commanded by Ferruccio Parri. It maintained a clear anti-monarchical position and it was opposed to Togliatti and the Italian Communist Party's Salerno Initiative for postwar governance.[5] The party adopted the symbol of a flaming sword.

In the immediate post-war period it joined the government securing the post of Prime Minister for Ferruccio Parri from June to November 1945. However, as a result of the internal conflict between the democratic-reformist line of Ugo La Malfa and the socialist line of Emilio Lussu, combined with the electoral defeat of 1946, the party folded. Unwillingness of the "Actionists" to work with reviving political parties "tainted by association with Fascism" also resulted in the decline of the Action Party. The main group of former members, led by Riccardo Lombardi, joined the Italian Socialist Party, while the Malfa group entered the Italian Republican Party.

Prominent members

See also


  1. 1 2 Steve Bastow, James Martin. Third way discourse: European ideologies in the twentieth century. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK: Edinburgh University Press, Ltd., 2003. Pp. 74.
  2. Bernard A. Cook (8 February 2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 671. ISBN 978-1-135-17932-8.
  3. 1 2 Ercolessi, Giulio (2009), "Italy: The Contemporary Condition of Italian Laicità", Secularism, Women & the State: The Mediterranean World in the 21st Century, Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, p. 13
  4. Mireno Berrettini, La Gran Bretagna e l’Antifascismo italiano. Diplomazia clandestina, Intelligence, Operazioni Speciali (1940-1943), Firenze, 2010
  5. Mireno Berrettini, La Resistenza italiana e lo Special Operations Executive britannico (1943-1945), Firenze, 2013


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