ECPR General Conference
Universitetet i Oslo, Oslo
6 - 9 September 2017




Liaisons Dangereuses? Ideological Affinities and Divergences between Populist and Neo-Fascist Parties in Germany and Italy and their Different Social Acceptance

Euroscepticism
 
Extremism
 
Party Manifestos
 
Political Ideology
 
Populism
 
Presenter
Gianluca Piccolino
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Tim Henrichsen
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Authors
Gianluca Piccolino
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Tim Henrichsen
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Abstract
The combined use of labels such as radical right, populist radical right and extreme right in the academic debate involving the classification of populist parties in Western Europe has created an insolubility of concepts that haunts the scholars of this field. A question that consequently arouses is whether and to what extent populist and openly neo-fascist actors may be categorized in the same ideological patterns and the delegitimizing contestation of the former can be assimilated to the anti-democratic character of the latter. If the theoretical debate has devoted much of attention to this problem, the field of empirical verification is still lacking a study that performs a direct comparison between the two streams. The aim of this paper is thus twofold. By applying a discourse network analysis on the party manifestos, our work fills a void in the literature by performing a first empirical comparison of the contemporary populist and neo-fascist parties’ ideological platforms in Germany and Italy, providing evidence to the theoretical discussion on the concepts of populism and right extremism/radicalism. On this basis, we will then focus on why the populist parties are experiencing a higher degree of societal normalization and neo-fascist parties are not. Showing that both party types share numerous political positions and, at the same time, differ on other fundamental features, we will provide evidence to highlight the clearly anti-systemic root of the neo-fascists parties and the chameleon-like nature of populist ones, a decisive feature in making the latter more socially acceptable than the former.
Share this page
 

"Aristocracies … may preserve themselves longest, but only democracies, which refresh their ruling class, can expand" - Hugh Trevor-Roper


Back to top