This article is structured as a review of the historiographical debate on the Fascist regime’s cultural diplomacy. It focuses on the main issues raised by the choice made by some historians to interpret Fascist propaganda abroad through such complex categories of analysis as "cultural diplomacy" and "cultural policy". This kind of approach highlights some crucial methodological difficulties and explains why there has been a long delay in the historiographical debate in defining a more precise terminology and in recognizing the increasing importance of new fields of investigation. This regards not only the case of Fascist Italy, but also other countries, governments and times. Referring to Italian Fascism, historians have found it arduous to identify the real distinction between "political propaganda" and "cultural policy", since all Fascist bodies operating abroad, even unofficial ones, still acted under the control of the National Fascist Party and the government. This article, finally, focuses on the themes and perspectives that prevail in the historiography on the regime’s propaganda and cultural diplomacy in different geographical areas.
Keywords: Fascism, cultural diplomacy, cultural policy, propaganda, historiography, cultural relations