Populism and Collective Memory : Comparing Fascist Legacies in Western Europe book cover
1st Edition

Populism and Collective Memory
Comparing Fascist Legacies in Western Europe

ISBN 9781032083872
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
248 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Right-wing populism is a global phenomenon that challenges several pillars of liberal democracy, and it is often described as a dangerous political ideology because it resonates with the fascist idea of power in terms of anti-pluralism and lack of minorities’ protection. In Western Europe, many political actors are exploiting the fears and insecurities linked to globalization, economic crisis, and mass migrations to attract voters. However, while right-wing populist discourses are mainstream in certain countries, they are almost completely taboo in others. Why is right-wing populism so successful in Italy, Austria, and France while in Germany it is marginal and socially unacceptable? It is because each country developed a certain collective memory of the fascist past, which stigmatizes that past to different levels. For this reason, right-wing populism can find favorable conditions to thrive in certain countries, while in others it is considered as an illegitimate and dangerous idea of power. Through a comparative study of eight European countries, this book shows that short-term factors linked to levels of corruption, economic situation, and quality of democracy interact with long-term cultural elements and collective memories in determining the social acceptability of right-wing populist discourses.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Populism and Fascist Legacies

1. Taxonomy of a Chameleon: The Populist Idea of Power

2. The Natural Habitat of Populism: Favourable Conditions and Triggers

3. Populism, Collective Memory, and Stigma of the Fascist Past

4. Methodology: Measuring Populism and Testing Its Social Acceptability

5. Populism in Eight West European Countries since the 1970s

6. Collective Memory and Fascist Legacies in Western Europe

7. Explaining Populism "The Usual Way"

8. The Effect of Fascist Legacies on Populism


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Luca Manucci is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. He obtained his PhD at the University of Zurich, where he worked at the Department of Political Science.