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Photo: “I Gruppi “Lega-Salvini Premier”, “Forza Italia-Berlusconi Presidente” e “Fratelli d’Italia”, del Senato della Repubblica e della Camera dei deputati in occasione delle consultazioni“, by Presidenza della Repubblica. Hue modified from the original.

Braghiroli, Stefano, and Andrey Makarychev. “Сonservative populism in Italy and Estonia: playing the multicultural card and engaging “domestic others”.” East European Politics (2022): 1-22.


U-turns by populist parties are not a new phenomenon. The 2021 electoral campaign in Estonia was marked by episodes that combined cultural hybridity and political opportunism. The nationalist Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) was reprimanded by the Language Inspectorate for using Russian-language campaign posters with no Estonian translation. The same party was celebrating Estonian independence with a concert performing Soviet-time popular music. These episodes appeared quite surprising in the Estonian context, but not unique in a wider European perspective. We tackle the following question: why and how national conservative parties appeal to groups previously treated as domestic others.

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.