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Photo:Matteo Salvini – painted portrait,” by thierry ehrmann licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue is modified from the original.

Calossi, Enrico, and Paola Imperatore. “Populism in contemporary Italian politics: actors and processes in time of crisis.” Populism in contemporary Italian politics (2022): 1-248.


This volume explores the evolution of populism in Italy in the last decade.

On the one hand, the contributions in this volume provide an updated “state of the art” of research on Italian populism, on the other hand – by starting from the assumption of the multifaceted nature of populism – this book provides the reader with fundamental tools to explore populism from a diachronic and multi-dimensional approach.

The authors investigate in depth different dimensions, from the internal organization of populist parties to their communication styles, from their positioning on specific issues, such as immigration and corruption, to the different strategies they use in different arenas and contexts.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Enrico Colossi and Paola Imperatore

  1. Italian populism(s): Leaderships, policy positions, and ideologies In political parties – Enrico Colossi and Lorenzo Viviani
  2. “In the end they are all the same!” Party organizational and policy change in Italy (2013-2018) – Luciano Bardi, Eugenio Pizzimenti and Stella Gianfreda
  3. Policy parliamentary debates and decisions. The case of the Five Star Movement in Italy – Stella Gianfreda
  4. The people and the party: Connecting populism and intra-party democracy – Beniamino Masi
  5. The corruption of democracy between neoliberalism and populism – Francesca Rispoli and Alberto Vannucci
  6. “Kick them off”: debating the immigration issue in the 2018 Italia national election campaign – Massimiliano Andretta and Paola Imperatore
  7. Italian leaders’ populist communication style In 2018 election campaign – Antonio Martella
  8. Pandemic frames: how is the European Union narrated by Italian (populist) parties during COVID-19’s first wave in Italy –Elisa Volpi, Lorenzo Cicchi and Tobias Widmann

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.