ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

The Italian Lega nord: electoral performance in two different subcultures

GIANLUCA PASSARELLI
Sapienza University of Rome
GIANLUCA PASSARELLI
Sapienza University of Rome
Dario Tuorto
Università di Bologna
Open Panel

Abstract

Political subcultures in Italy have played a crucial rule throughout the post-WWII period. The two main ideologies - catholic and communist – strictly related to the presence of a functional (industrial, economic) cleavage (Rokkan 1970) also acted as territorial political subcultures in two macro-regional areas: a «White zone» dominated by the Christian Democrats (DC) and a «Red zone» where the Communist party (PCI) strongly prevailed. After the 1989÷94 period and the related crucial socio-electoral events, the Italian party system definitely changed. The territorial / political subcultures began to lose relevance, declined and, in any case, were substantially redefined. The process of de-pillarization (verzuiling (Rokkan 1977)) contributed to the affirmation of «new» parties. In particular, the regionalist parties in 80’s and the Lega Nord‘s electoral breakthrough in 1992 were dramatically indicating that, at best, the political subcultures were changing (not simply vanishing). Since its beginning the Lega Nord has evoked the role of territory / ethnic (as a «new» cleavage) and the concentration of its electoral background (in Northern regions) confirms the relevance of territorial issue. Thus, the Lega Nord has not only emphasized the resilience of pre-existing political subcultures but has also produced an unanswered question about the presence of «new» territorial cleavages. In this sense it can be interpreted the recent electoral advance in the «Red» zone (outside its historical settlement). The paper reports a systematic comparison between two regions, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, expression of different political subcultures (Catholic and communist). Our aim is to analyze the dynamic of party’s roots and expansion, the socioeconomic and political characteristics of the contexts in which Lega Nord is stronger, the flows-of votes in specific territorial contexts, in order to see whether an unique model or, differently, two alternative models better connote the two areas.