Italy: The Mainstream Right and its Allies, 1994–2018

Book chapter

Gattinara, Pietro Castelli & Caterina Froio (2021) Italy: The Mainstream Right and its Allies, 1994–2018, in Riding the Populist Wave: Europe's Mainstream Right in Crisis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (170–192).

Publisher's webpage

The 2018 general elections marked a major defeat for the mainstream right in Italy. Scoring a mere 14 per cent, Forza Italia (Go Italy, FI) lost its primacy over the centre-right coalition. Excluded from the national government, the mainstream right finds itself – for the first time since 1994 – in a minority position within Italy’s political right. To understand whether this transformation reflects the tension faced by the mainstream right in coping with the silent revolution and counter-revolution, and with the migration policy challenge, this chapter reconstructs the relationship between the different components of the Italian centre-right over the past twenty-five years (1994-2018). Focusing on Berlusconi’s personalistic parties, its right-wing (populist) partners and Christian democratic allies, the chapter accounts for the demand-side and supply-side evolution of the Italian centre-right. The analyses point to the crucial role played by the issue of migration in shaping right-wing politics in Italy.

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