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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement

Loris Caruso

This article investigates the political and cultural nature of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S) by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

In the Italian national elections in 2013, the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S), founded just four years earlier, gained 25 percent of votes, more than any other party. Analyses and interpretations are divided between those who consider M5S a member of the family of European populism and those who see M5S’s propositions as akin to the values of the left and social movements. The debate on M5S fits into the context of important ongoing trends in European politics: the growth of populist political movements; the emergence of outsider parties able to challenge stable political systems; changing relationships between parties and social movements; changes in the forms of political organizing. This article investigates the political and cultural nature of this party by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Caruso, L. (2017) 'Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement’. Politics & Society . DOI: 10.1177/0032329217735841

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0032329217735841

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