How the European Union Lost Italy to the Radical Right

April 16, 2020

In no country in Europe has COVID-19 claimed more victims than in Italy. Similarly, nowhere in Europe has the radical populist right benefitted more from the pandemic than in Italy. At the beginning of April, polls had Italy’s two major radical right-wing populist parties — Matteo Salvini’s...

Salvini May Have Lost Emilia Romagna, But the League Is Still on the Rise

January 30, 2020

The regional election held in Emilia Romagna on January 26 was not simply a local affair. The election saw the incumbent governor, Stefano Bonaccini, of the center-left coalition’s Democratic Party (PD), take 51,4% of the vote — a win that will have far-reaching consequences in Italy and...

Italian Populists Use Social Welfare to Ignite a “War Between the Poor”

October 07, 2019

Since Matteo Salvini took over the leadership of the Northern League party (rebranded as the League before last year’s elections) in late 2013, the focus of his harsh political campaigns shifted from southern Italians — the so-called “Terroni,” or people of the countryside — to...

The Transformation of the Northern League

August 21, 2018

The trajectory of Italy's Northern League party is a case study of the complex ways in which perceptions of regional, national and ethnic identity operates in the contemporary politics of the radical right. If you visited Venice in the spring of 2006 during the Italian elections, you could see...