Populism without a people : neoliberal populism and the rise of the Italian far right
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While populism is often understood as a reaction to neoliberalism, this paper investigates neoliberalism as a host ideology of populism. Building on Wendy Brown, I argue that the populist, Italian 5 Star Movement (5SM) conforms to neoliberalism’s normative reason. Rather than democratic, this form of neoliberal populism unravels the collective and political body of the people, reducing it to an uninformed mass to be directed by technocratic means. This has profound implications as my reading of the relationship between 5SM and the far-right party Lega shows. As 5SM’s neoliberal populism is unable to express a ‘people’ it functions as a propulsive force for the racialized ‘people’ the Lega deems to express. In this way, the ‘authoritarian freedom’ informing neoliberalism implies that inadvertently neoliberal populism fosters support for far-right parties.
Rossi , N 2023 , ' Populism without a people : neoliberal populism and the rise of the Italian far right ' , Journal of Political Ideologies , vol. Latest Articles . https://doi.org/10.1080/13569317.2023.2196241
Journal of Political Ideologies
Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.