IHR seminar and books presentation
Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) Annual Conference
29-30 November 2019
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Belgrave Square, London SW1
PROMISED LAND OF POPULISM? ‘POPULIST' CULTURE AND POLITICS IN ITALY 1800-2019
Gianluca Fantoni (Nottingham Trent), Carl Levy (Goldsmiths), Marzia Maccaferri (Goldsmiths), Andrea Mammone (Royal Holloway), Marta Musso (King’s College London), George Newth (University of Bath), Franco Zappettini (University of Liverpool)
Federico Finchelstein (New School for Social Research) and Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University)
This year ASMI annual conference will explore themes of populism in Italy. From 1994 until the present day, the President of the Italian Republic has sworn in five governments which can be labelled as ‘populist’. From the first government of the post-Tangentopoli era, led by Berlusconi, to the ideologically ambiguous Five Star Movement-Lega coalition government in 2018. These developments in Italian politics raise a number of questions regarding the relationship not only between populism and democracy but also between populism and Italian character or Italian culture. It also brings into sharp focus debates surrounding the durability of the populist phenomenon and the potential challenges posed to the institutions of both the Italian Republic and the European Union.
In order to understand this global phenomenon, it is necessary to look at it from a historical perspective in its global context, and consider not only the social and political conditions but also the cultural and intellectual dynamics which have seen the rise of ‘populism’.
The conference will, therefore, explore the historic and cultural role of populism and in particular the discursive construction of ‘the people’ against a perceived group of ‘elites’ in political narratives from the Risorgimento until the present day.