The new Draghi government and the fate of populism in Italy

Featured image credit: Presidenza della Repubblica (Public Domain)

Read on EUROPP – European Politics and Policy – LSE Blog

In 2018, Italy appeared set to embark on a new era of populist government led by the Five Star Movement and the League. Yet less than three years since the 2018 election, the country now finds itself with a technocratic Prime Minister in the shape of Mario Draghi. Marino De Luca writes on what this turn of events tells us about the fate of populism in Italian politics.

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Italian Tragedy: The Contemporary Government Crisis in Three Acts

A handout photo made available by Chigi Palace Press Office


In this land, a word is often used in situations where a political class preserves a status quo while pretending to change it. Italians call it ‘leopardism’ after The Leopard, a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. It’s an illusion of change when everything stays the same. The result is a reinvention or rehabilitation process, like a ‘revolving door’ in the waiting room of the Italian political class.

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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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Are you a UK political party member? Would you like to improve the internal democracy of your political party? Do you have any ideas to make your political party better? Are over 18 years old?

We are looking for participants in a scientific study based at the University of Sussex. The research aim is to understand the impact of the post-Brexit period on the life of your political party.

If you sign up, you will be contacted in the spring-summer of 2021 by a researcher from the University of Sussex to receive all the information necessary for participation in the project.

If you wish, we will provided,  free of charge all the analysis about your political party generated during the research and all scientific articles published on the subject.

Take part in this study and improve politics.

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The Italian style: Giuseppe Conte’s ‘half-populist’ leadership during Covid-19

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Conte-EP.jpg
Italian PM Giuseppe Conte at the European Parliament. Credit: European Parliament (CC BY 2.0)

Article appeared in the EUROPP – European Politics and Policy – LSE Blog, June 8th, 2020

From the starting position of a political outsider, Italy’s PM Giuseppe Contehas carved a widely positive image for himself, gaining widespread popularity during the Covid-19 crisis. Marino De Luca argues that Conte’s savvy use of communication channels during a time of national emergency, combined with his personality, have helped him project an image of political competence, empathy, and reassurance. 

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Who and what is their people? How British political leaders appealed to the people during the 2019 elections [Report]

The 2019 UK election was touted by many as a contest between the parliament and the people. But who were ‘the people’ in question? The rise of populist politics in recent years across the world had bought ‘the’ people squarely into political discussion and as a resource to be called on by populist politicians. Looking at twitter in the context of the UK election we can see what was meant in this context.

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Corona Virus: Consequences for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) projects and related activities

  • The Commission understands that the current containment measures taken at national level may have consequences on MSCA projects.
  • This may concern the regular mobility activities of MSCA fellows and other project staff as well as the participation of individuals in meetings and events organised by beneficiaries in the framework of MSCA projects.
  • To respond to these uncertainties, the European Commission is applying the maximum flexibility in the implementation of the programme, within the limits of the applicable legal framework.
  • The Research Executive Agency (REA) has informed all project coordinators about the possibility to invoke the “force majeure” clauses: REA will assess the circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
  • Project coordinators should liaise with their Project Officer as soon as possible to notify them of the situation and receive support.
  • The Commission is monitoring this situation very closely and will adopt any additional measure that may become necessary.