Who and what is their ‘people’? How British political leaders appealed to the people during the 2019 election

In recent years, many scholars, mainly those focusing on populism, have analysed the role of ‘the people’ in politics. This has allowed us to understand how many political actors emphasize the central position of this term. Today, ‘the people’ has different meanings depending on how politicians use it in specific contexts. In this paper, the reference to ‘the people’ was measured using the following question: How do political leaders use the word ‘people’? The analysis was conducted on Twitter through the study of the accounts of the foremost political leaders in the UK during the 2019 general election campaign. The results highlight three key attitudes related to the use of ‘people’: a direct and immediate relationship between a leader and a wide people; a calling to a specific people, described as a strong and cohesive group; an appropriation of the voice of the people, grouping people without borders into the classic contraposition between a pure people and the corrupt elite [Read the full article here]

Italy’s accidental prime minister? Giuseppe Conte has lasted longer in power than many expected

Article appeared in the CNBC – 24 Dec 2020

Key Points

  • In June 2018, Giuseppe Conte became Italy’s prime minister.
  • Conte was a law professor with no prior political experience.
  • He was chosen as an independent leader at the head of a coalition of the Five Star Movement and Lega party.
Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends RAI's broadcast talk Show Porta a Porta on January 08, 2019 in Rome, Italy.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends RAI’s broadcast talk Show Porta a Porta on January 08, 2019 in Rome, Italy.Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis | Corbis News | Getty Images
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Book review / FMWEB: L. Morlino, Equality, Freedom, and Democracy: Europe After the Great Recession, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2020

The intense economic decline during the late 2000s, the Great Recession, is considered the most critical downturn since the 1929 Great Depression. Thus, this significant event has become the ‘critical’ context for explaining how the world as we know it has been affected in recent years. Financial markets, banking and real estate industries, on one side, with home mortgage foreclosures, life savings and unemployment on the other. Centre stage, our democracies and their values, amongst them the two critical and most important ones: equality and freedom.

Leonardo Morlino and the research group working with him for years – Daniela Piana, Mario Quaranta, Francesco Raniolo, Cecilia Emma Sottilotta and Claudius Wagemann -, analyse both values in this impressive comparative research, focusing on France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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