1st Edition

Understanding Movement Parties Through their Communication

Edited By Dan Mercea, Lorenzo Mosca Copyright 2023

    In many countries, movement parties have swayed large tracts of the electorate. Contributions to this edited book reflect on the place of movement parties in democratic politics through analyses of their communication. Reviewing evidence from several countries including cases from Europe, Australia and India where movement parties have gained ground in politics, this book illuminates the important role that communication has played in their rise as well as the issues surrounding it. Movement parties have expressed greater sensitivity to neglected issues, a commitment to renewing links with marginalized social groups through more direct—chiefly online—communication with them as well as an ambition to overhaul both the party organization and the political system. In doing so, they have signalled a desire to disrupt and reimagine politics. Yet, the critical examination of their efforts—and of the communication environment in which they operate—against questions regarding the quality of democracy—throws into relief a mismatch between a participation-oriented rhetoric and concrete democratic practices. Accordingly, contributions draw attention to disconnections between a professed need for more immediate and greater participation in movement party organization and policymaking, on the one hand, their organizational practices and the communication of parties, leaders, and supporters, on the other. This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal, Information, Communication & Society.

    1. Introduction: Understanding movement parties through their communication

    Dan Mercea and Lorenzo Mosca

    2. Communication in progressive movement parties: against populism and beyond digitalism

    Donatella della Porta

    3. ‘We do politics so we can change politics’: communication strategies and practices in the Aam Aadmi Party’s institutionalization process

    Divya Siddarth, Roshan Shankar and Joyojeet Pal

    4. Reverting trajectories? UKIP’s organisational and discursive change after the Brexit referendum

    Ofra Klein and Andrea L. P. Pirro

    5. Social networks and digital organisation: far right parties at the 2019 Australian federal election

    Jordan McSwiney

    6. Decentralizing electoral campaigns? New-old parties, grassroots and digital activism

    Josep Lobera and Martín Portos

    7. Are digital platforms potential drivers of the populist vote? A comparative analysis of France, Germany and Italy

    Lorenzo Mosca and Mario Quaranta

    8. Still ‘fire in the (full) belly’? Anti-establishment rhetoric before and after government participation

    Andrea Ceron, Alessandro Gandini and Patrizio Lodetti

    9. Does populism go viral? How Italian leaders engage citizens through social media

    Roberta Bracciale, Massimiliano Andretta and Antonio Martella

    10. Why study media ecosystems?

    Ethan Zuckerman


    Dan Mercea is Reader in Digital and Social Change at City, University of London, UK.

    Lorenzo Mosca is Professor of Digital Media and Datafied Society at the University of Milan, Italy.