1st Edition

Sovereignism and Populism Citizens, Voters and Parties in Western European Democracies

Edited By Linda Basile, Oscar Mazzoleni Copyright 2022
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    At a time when populism and appeal for national and popular sovereignty are on the rise – in Europe, the USA, and beyond – this volume proposes a new research agenda in political science that focuses on the linkages between populist and sovereignism in Europe.

    The book’s core question is to know and describe whether, how, and to what extent populism has been able to articulate the calls for ‘taking back control’ of the national borders and authority, by looking at both the ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ sides. Through compelling empirical analyses, the authors offer fresh data and theoretical insights on the determinants of the support for sovereigntist claims and its impact on voting choices, as well as on the features of the sovereignist discourse in populist parties.

    Coupled with the growing electoral success of party-based populism, sovereignism actually poses challenges to the ongoing processes of supranational integration. This urges a timely rethinking of democratic politics and calls for far-sighted alternatives to ‘taking back control’ to address the impact of globalisation and regionalisation on contemporary societies.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal, European Politics and Society.


    Linda Basile and Oscar Mazzoleni

    Introduction: Sovereignist wine in populist bottles?

    Linda Basile and Oscar Mazzoleni

    1. Reclaiming national sovereignty: the case of the conservatives and the far right in Austria

    Reinhard Heinisch, Annika Werner and Fabian Habersack

    2. Should we stay or should we join? 30 years of Sovereignism and direct democracy in Switzerland

    Sean Mueller and Anja Heidelberger

    3. Economic populism and sovereignism: the economic supply of European radical right-wing populist parties

    Gilles Ivaldi and Oscar Mazzoleni

    4. Taking back control? Brexit, sovereignism and populism in Westminster (2015–17)

    Gianfranco Baldini, Edoardo Bressanelli and Stella Gianfreda

    5. ‘For whom the sovereignist bell tolls?’ Individual determinants of support for sovereignism in ten European countries

    Linda Basile, Rossella Borri and Luca Verzichelli

    Conclusions. The populism-sovereignism linkage: findings, theoretical implications and a new research agenda

    Luca Verzichelli


    Linda Basile is Research Fellow at the Department of Social, Political, and Cognitive Sciences of the University of Siena, Italy.

    Oscar Mazzoleni is Professor in Political Science and Director of the Research Observatory of Regional Politics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.