The main objective of the research is to conduct a pilot study in UK aimed at investigating the phenomenon of populism after the Brexit referendum, explaining how the intra-party democracy and deliberation can defuse its growth. In that respect, the research will consist of two distinct steps: 1) to analyse the media coverage after the Brexit referendum in order to identify populist issues; 2) to observe how party members elaborate these populist issues.
As to the first step, analysis of media coverage, it will be examine the interpretative frames that politicians, journalists, and observers relied upon within the public debate. In particular, the analysis will focus on the news about Brexit in a populist perspective and on its relevance after the referendum in the public debate. As regards the second step, particular attention will be paid to the party members in order to examine how they elaborate ‘populist’ issues in a deliberative process.
The importance of the study lies in the originality of the object under analysis. UK is an ideal case study for understanding the adaptation of populism in the European context and analyzing whether and how the intra-party democracy is able to counter the rise of the phenomenon. The study has the potential to be expanded nationwide or into a comparative cross-country research. In fact, the research results will be used to analyse the next elections to the European Parliament, understanding which policy “mechanisms” are able to contain populism impact on the European institutions.