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An open lecture “Populists in power: the case of the Five Italian Movement and the League”

On February 20, an open lecture was held at the International Laboratory on World Order Studies and the New Regionalism by an associate professor at the Deparment of Political Science – University of Genova Mara Morini on the topic “Populists in power: the case of the Five Italian Movement and the League”.

During the lecture, Mrs. Morini touched upon such issues as: the nature of populism, the hallmarks and classification; basic theories of populism; political culture and nationalism as the identical foundations of populism.

According to Madame Morini, the question of the nature of populism remains controversial. This phenomenon is understood not as an independent ideology, but as a strategy of political struggle, based on the opposition of the elite to the rest of the population and possessing a number of other characteristic features. Being only a political strategy, populism is able to combine with any ideological constructs (nationalism, communism, liberalism, etc.).

The case of Italy, according to Mrs. Morini, is interesting because over the last decades, in the academic literature Italy has always been defined as a sort of “populist paradise” or “a country of many populisms” (Tarchi, 2015 and 2008). The results of Italian populists, according to the speaker, are a stage in the transformation of the political process in Italy, as in several other EU countries, when there is an awareness and articulation of the needs of changing the functioning of political institutions. The departure of M. Salvini in 2019 and the collapse of the populist coalition between the League and the Five Star Movement in Italy should become a scarecrow of non-viability for all EU populists and Euro skeptics.