Populists in Power
Routledge – 2015 – 256 pages
Series: Extremism and Democracy
The main area of sustained populist growth in recent decades has been Western Europe, where populist parties have not only endured longer than expected, but have increasingly begun to enter government. Focussing on three high-profile cases in Italy and Switzerland – the Popolo della Libertà (PDL), Lega Nord (LN) and Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP) – Populists in Power is the first in-depth comparative study to examine whether these parties are indeed doomed to failure in office as many commentators have claimed.
Albertazzi and McDonnell’s findings run contrary to much of the received wisdom. Based on extensive original research and fieldwork, they show that populist parties can be built to last, can achieve key policy victories and can survive the experience of government, without losing the support of either the voters or those within their parties.
Contributing a new perspective to studies in populist politics, Populists in Power is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as scholars interested in modern government, parties and politics.
Chapter 1. Populists in Western Europe: From Periphery to Power Chapter 2. Forza Italia and the Popolo della Libertà Chapter 3. The Lega Nord Chapter 4. The Schweizerische Volkspartei Chapter 5. Elections Chapter 6. Pledges vs. Actions in Government Chapter 7. Members and Representatives - Reactions to Government Participation Chapter 8. Conclusions: Populists and Power Appendix 1. Summary of Relevant Political Events in Italy, 2008-2011 Appendix 2. Summary of Relevant Political Events: Switzerland 2003-2007 Index.
Daniele Albertazzi is a Senior Lecturer in European Media at the Department of Italian Studies, University of Birmingham, where he leads the Culture, Society and Communication programmes.
Duncan McDonnell is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University, Brisbane