This paper analyses the debate in the 1990s on antifascism and the birth of the Italian Republic. Its main hypothesis is that this debate was deeply influenced by the historiographical reflection on fascism. The paper focuses especially on the 1995 conference Antifascismi e Resistenze, which represents an important point of reference for the study of these issues. The interpretation of antifascism introduced at the conference highlighted the contribution the literature on fascism made to comprehending the distinctive traits of antifascism. The progress of the historiography on fascism had made it possible to better understand both the international dimension of that political phenomenon and its working principles. By the same token, the conceptualisation of antifascism was renewed, as antifascism was interpreted as a national-international political phenomenon that helped redefine the characteristics of the western democracies according to shared assumptions about their goals and organisation. This interpretation of antifascism contributed to the definition of a wider historiographical model, whose influence on the historiographical debate on the history of twentieth-century Italy is also examined in the paper.