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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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The polyvalent populism of the 5 Star Movement

Andrea Pirro

The article elaborates on the supply side of the M5S and shows how its populist frame has been able to incorporate ideological features attributed to the “new politics” of the libertarian left as much as the “new populism” of the radical right.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2018

Widely recognised as a populist party within a context of mutating populism, ideational
approaches have taken only a marginal role in the analysis of the issues of the Movimento 5
Stelle (5 Star Movement, M5S). The article elaborates on the supply side of the M5S and shows
how its populist frame has been able to incorporate ideological features attributed to the “new
politics” of the libertarian left as much as the “new populism” of the radical right. Such a peculiarity is conceptualised in terms of polyvalent populism – a variant of populism that rests on
concomitant ideological discordance, newness, and radicalness. The theoretical argument is
complemented by the analysis of Beppe Grillo's political supply over the span of his 'long decade'
between political activism and the electoral breakthrough of the movement party. The analysis
also demonstrates that those contentious issues that have often caused public clamour and
offered room for convergence between the M5S and the Lega on a shared governmental platform
(2018) were already part of Grillo's discourse – though often unspoken in official programmatic
documents.

Journal of Contemporary European Studies, OnlineFirst, DOI: 1080/14782804.2018.1519484

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14782804.2018.1519484

News

05/03/2019

A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts

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On the 22nd of March, from 4pm to 7pm, Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Maurizio Landini (Secretary General of CGIL) will discuss about labour, trade unions and conflicts.

05/02/2019

Call for Papers - Social Movements and Parties in a Fractured Media Landscape

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day symposium held under the auspices of the journal ‘Information, Communication & Society’ (iCS) at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, 1-2 July 2019.

04/02/2019

17 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology and in Transnational Governance, Scuola Normale Superiore

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The grant is for 4 years. It is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

Publications

Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.