TD: Jahrgang 9, Heft 2012, 2, Seite 279–302
Abstract / Volltext
Es folgt die Zusammenfassung in englischer Sprache following the article short description
The polysemic nature of populism is perfectly reflected in the multifaceted populism of the Italian Lega Nord ( LN ). Born as the supposed receptacle of cultural and autonomist tendencies of the Northern regions, the party soon developed into a genuine right-wing populist party. Its programmatic platform and rhetoric – one of the major factors of its electoral success – reflect the breadth of the LN’s appeal to the people. The party program and rhetoric constantly fluctuate between an identity-based and a protest-based call for a deep renovation of the relationship between the people and its élite. This renovation includes the call for more autonomy of the Northern Italian regions – ranging from federalism to secession – which coexists within the LN platform with more genuine stances of European right wing populist parties: Anti-establishment and anti-party positions, anti-immigration in addition to law and order issues, the need to return to traditional family values and the rejection of a multicultural society. In order to correctly interpret one of the most important political actors of the Italian party system of the last two decades, the article analyses these programmatic dimensions as they shift during the evolutionary phases of the LN. Despite the recent crisis which affected the party and its leadership, the LN represents a prototypical example of how the contradictions of liberal democracies, due to which populism prospers, have been successfully exploited.