„In the Names of the Italians.” The Beginning of Silvio Berlusconi and Giuseppe Grillo’s Political Career Cover Image

„Az olaszok nevében.” Silvio Berlusconi és Giuseppe Grillo politikai karrierjének kezdete
„In the Names of the Italians.” The Beginning of Silvio Berlusconi and Giuseppe Grillo’s Political Career

Author(s): Sára Lafferton
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, History, Social Sciences, Political Theory, Political Sciences, Civil Society, Governance, Social history, Sociology of Politics
Published by: Fordulat
Keywords: populism;italian politics;berlusconi;

Summary/Abstract: In this paper I study how populism gained political weight in Italy in the past decades. I argue, partly in opposition to rationalist political science, that the underlying logic of populism is intelligible, and that ultimately, this logic is the articulation of the complex phenomenon in which the realm of politics stops reflecting the social realm. I address this problem through the study of the early political careers of the four times Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian politician appearing in the second half of the 2000s Giuseppe Grillo. First, I reconstruct the political and social background in relation to what the two paths become meaningful. Then, I briefly compare and contrast the mainstream and the leftist literature on populism, according to the following points: their approaches to the concept of populism; the modus operandi of the populist leader; the exact context that animates populism; and the terms in which the relation between populism and democracy can be understood. Finally, using the theoretical tools of the leftist literature on populism, I analyse the context in which the two politicians started their career, the politics they argued in favour of and the democracy they proposed. I finish my argument by concluding that if we take the crisis articulated by the populist logic seriously, we must adjust the realm of politics according to the needs of the social realm, and not the other way around.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 22
  • Page Range: 86-103
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Hungarian