Anti-politics in Contemporary Italy
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This book explores the discourses, attitudes and behaviours of professional politicians and ordinary citizens alike characterized by hostility towards the political sphere, political parties and, above all, professional politicians. It furnishes a clear, consistent depiction of the anti-politics phenomenon in general using Italy as a “laboratory” where anti-politics is widespread. After an original reconstruction of the concept of anti-politics, the author charts the rise of Silvio Berlusconi, the success of Umberto Bossi's Northern League, the resounding electoral victories of the Five Star Movement and the League (La Lega), all rooted in the anti-political rhetoric of Italy's leaders and the anti-political sentiment of its population. The author also traces the socio-political profile of the anti-political citizens of the main European democracies. This broad, consistent view of anti-politics will attract academics, journalists and policy makers interested in anti-politics in Italy and elsewhere. Students and scholars of party politics, party leaders, democracy and political participation will also find the volume of great interest.
Table of Contents
1 The concept of anti-politics
2 Anti-politics prior to anti-politics. Citizens and politics in Italy after the Second World War
3 The League: Anti-politics of struggle and anti-politics in government
4 The centre-left: Between democratic innovation and the “scrapping” of the old political class
5 The Five Star Movement: Anti-politics in the form of a new party
6 A socio-political profile of anti-political citizens
Vittorio Mete is an Associate Professor of Political Sociology at Florence University (Italy), where he teaches courses in The Sociology of Leadership, Criminal Networks and Society and Democracy. His research interests include anti-politics, political leadership; local politics; political careerism and the political class; political parties; voting behaviour and political participation; organised crime; anti-mafia policies and anti-mafia movements. His recent publications include The trader perspective: researching extortion in Palermo, in Modern Italy (2018); (together with Anna Carola Freschi), The electoral personalization of Italian mayors. A study of 25 years of direct election, in the Italian Political Science Review (2020); Antipolitica. Protagonisti e forme di un’ostilità diffusa, (il Mulino, 2022).