Tag: Matteo Salvini

Turning Family Into a Political Weapon

A descriptive and benign term, “family” has been turned into the primary frontier of social wars by the radical right. In March 2019, the World Congress of Families (WCF), in collaboration with the International Organization for the Family (IOF), organized its 13th conference, “The Wind of Change: Europe and the Global Pro-Family Movement,” in Verona, Italy.… Continue reading “Turning Family Into a Political Weapon”

Have We Seen the Eternal Return of Fascism?

Unlike yesterday’s fascists, today’s radical right-wing leaders propagate neither territorial expansion nor anything close to the racial laws of the 1930s. Björn Höcke is public enemy number one in present-day Germany. At least that’s what German media suggest. Höcke is a leading exponent of the “völkisch” wing of Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s radical right-wing populist… Continue reading “Have We Seen the Eternal Return of Fascism?”

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

Matteo Salvini’s League party takes advantage of the frustration felt by Italians living in poverty to fuel xenophobia and hatred toward immigrants. 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… Continue reading “Italian Populists Use Social Welfare to Ignite a “War Between the Poor””

Expertise in politics: boon or bane?

Populist radical right parties and their leaders openly despise expertise: they often parade their ignorance and inexperience by developing, in electoral terms, propaganda depicting them shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary citizens (“the People”) – as distant as possible from accultured, intellectual cosmopolitan elites. Mainstream political parties have, especially in recent years, often championed recourse to unelected experts… Continue reading “Expertise in politics: boon or bane?”

Is freedom of expression at stake in Italy?

In May 2019, the Italian government approved an anti-immigration “decreto sicurezza” (or  security decree). Among other nationalist policies, the new law foresees a fine against anyone who is found transporting a migrant into the country. In response, the students of Sicilian high school teacher Rosa Maria dell’Aria produced a short video that compared the decree,… Continue reading “Is freedom of expression at stake in Italy?”

A pan-European radical right – contradiction in terms?

The vision of a fascist Europe proved to be a chimera. Today’s watchers of the radical right must hope that things will be no different when the heirs of ‘classic fascism’ meet in Milan next week. It was reported on 5 April that Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s League Party (formerly the Northern League) and the country’s… Continue reading “A pan-European radical right – contradiction in terms?”

The radical right, immigration and the future of the EU

In the May European elections, the immigration issue will continue to play a role in the expected success of radical right parties. The initial success of radical right parties such as the French Front National (FN) in the mid-1980s coincided with concerns about immigration flows into countries across Europe. Although the post-WWII guest-worker era had… Continue reading “The radical right, immigration and the future of the EU”

Matteo Salvini – Italy’s salvation?

Is it entirely unreasonable to expect that Italy’s populists in power, though unavoidable, will end up like many governments before them – mugged by harsh reality? One of the most famous clichés in Italian contemporary political historiography is the phrase, lifted from Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa’s novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), “For everything to stay… Continue reading “Matteo Salvini – Italy’s salvation?”