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The Untamed Mainstream: The Populist Radical Right Today

Referent: Dr. Mattia Zulianello
30/01/2024 - 10:00
TIL 110, Helmholtzstraße 6, 01069 Dresden

Description of the event

The Untamed Mainstream: The Populist Radical Right Today

Dr. Mattia Zulianello, University of Trieste, Italy

The ideological blend of nativism, authoritarianism, and populism (Mudde 2007) that characterizes the populist radical right (PRR) proved to be a successful formula in many countries. This party family has progressively altered the boundaries of legitimacy of European politics: PRR parties have increasingly moved from the margins to the core of contemporary politics, becoming key players in the coalition game and governmental arena in many European countries (Akkerman et al. 2016; Albertazzi and McDonnell 2015).

Nevertheless, in its march towards the mainstream the PRR has not undertaken a moderation of its core ideology. In fact, their agenda is not only stronger than ever but is also increasingly normalized. In this lecture, I analyse the key features of the negative systemic integration of the PRR (Zulianello 2019; 2020), that is their incorporation without moderation, outlining its impact on the functioning of contemporary party systems as well as its implications for the Sartori’s (1976; 1982) seminal works on parties and party systems. Most notably, I highlight that only a few contemporary PRR parties qualify as anti-system parties in the traditional sense (Sartori 1976); on the contrary, most of them can be understood as being the new, untamed, mainstream.

Mattia Zulianello is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Trieste, Italy. He is the author of the book “Anti-System Parties: From Parliamentary Breakthrough to Government” (Routledge, 2019). He is also Principal Investigation of the project “The Visual Politics of Populism”.

David Abraham