Making Sense of Italian Populism: The Five Star Movement and the Lega
This paper examines the rise of two Italian populist movements, the cyber-populism of the Five Star Movement under Beppe Grillo, and the nativist populism of the Lega under Matteo Salvini. I first frame the rise of Italian populism and the brief coalition government the two parties formed in 2018-2019 within broader political and institutional trends, and then compare the role of leadership in the two movements and analyse the discursive strategies used in both to mobilize “the people” and win voters’ support.
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