1st Edition

The Politics of Memory in the Italian Populist Radical Right From Mare Nostrum to Mare Vostrum

By Marianna Griffini Copyright 2023

    The Politics of Memory in the Italian Populist Radical Right examines the role of colonial memory in the contemporary Italian populist radical right, which includes the Lega and Fratelli d’Italia (FdI).

    The book originally adopts postcolonialism as an analytical framework to critically examine which roles colonial memory plays in the Italian populist radical right. Considering the timeframe between 2013 and 2021, this book suggests that the contemporary Italian populist radical right selectively shaped its memory of the colonial past, expunging the most difficult aspects from it. The fact that the Italian populist radical right parties examined do not fully acknowledge the controversial aspects of Italy’s colonial past, which are bracketed off discourse, may contribute to the deployment of colonial discourse by these same parties when discussing immigration. From this Italian case study, broader implications can be drawn regarding the role of colonial memory in political discourse, which is a topical matter across Europe.

    The book will be of interest to those studying populism, the radical right, Italian politics and history, colonialism, and the politics of memory.

    Introduction  1. The Italian Populist Radical Right: Debates and the Missing Link with Memory  2. Nation and Race: The Theoretical Roots of Nativism  3. Research Design  4. "Italians First": The Ethno-Cultural Nation with Civic Undertones  5. "I am not racist, but…": Problematisation, Differentiation, and Othering of Immigration  6. Echoes from Colonialism: Criminalisation, Inferiorisation, and Abjectification of Immigration  7. Memory and Forgetting: The Colonial Past in the Italian Populist Radical Right  8. Memory and Forgetting: The Fascist Past in the Italian Populist Radical Right  Conclusion


    Marianna Griffini is a Lecturer in International Political Economy at the Department of European and International Studies at King's College London, UK.

    ‘This is a much-needed, powerful book from Marianna Griffini about the selective and self-absolutory memory that Italy formed about its fascist and colonial past. As a result, the populist radical right thrives in a country that chose to never confront its ghosts, or to even glorify them. A refreshing and timely read, not to be missed.’

    Luca Manucci, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (ICS-UL), Portugal