Baldini, Gianfranco, Filippo Tronconi, and Davide Angelucci. “Yet Another Populist Party? Understanding the Rise of Brothers of Italy.” South European Society and Politics (2023): 1-21.
From its 2012 beginnings as a marginal radical right splinter group, in the 2022 general election ‘Fratelli d’Italia’ (Brothers of Italy, FdI) was the most voted party and its leader, Giorgia Meloni, became the first Italian female Prime minister. While both leader and party can be classified as belonging to the populist radical right family, we argue that FdI must be understood also as a ‘rooted newcomer’, i.e. a party that can count on pre-existing organisational resources, building its appeal also on symbolic elements already familiar to the electorate when the party was formed. Focusing on the supply side, we tackle some of the main open questions related to the party’s ambivalent nature, often fluctuating between a post-fascist profile and a frequently reiterated support for other European radical right illiberal leaders and more moderate positions. We identify the politics of illiberalism as the key challenge the party faces in its transition from opposition to government.