The coalition between Fratelli d’Italia, Lega, Forza Italia and some minor allies is expected to win the Italian general election on 25 September 2022 by a considerable margin, at least according to all the opinion polls. Rather surprisingly, much of the public debate in Italy, including the media, politicians and polling institutes, still refers to the right-wing bloc as a centre-right coalition despite the presence of two fully-fledged far-right parties. In this chapter, we will a) introduce the main political players competing in the September 2022 general election, i.e. the right-wing coalition, the centre-left coalition, the M5S and the ‘third pole’ (terzo polo) composed of Azione and Italia Viva; we will then b) consider the ways in which Fratelli d’Italia and Lega are competing on the same far-right platform and which characteristics may give FdI a competitive edge over Lega; and lastly we will c) reflect on the factors that may have enabled Italy’s far-right coalition to be considered moderate centre-right, a label used since 1994 to describe coalitions led by Berlusconi and which no longer seem fitting given the presence of the two far-right parties. In conclusion, we will identify at least two elements, in fact two sides of the same coin, supporting the persistence of the centre-right definition: a) the ambiguous and controversial role within the coalition of Forza Italia, whose alleged moderation has been cleverlty sold to grant a sort of continuity to the use of the centrodestra label as opposed to ‘right wing’ or ‘far right’; and b) the skilful way in which the Italian far-right has managed to normalize itself and enter the mainstream over the last decade.

Bruno, V. A., ‘Centre right? What centre right?’ Italy’s right-wing coalition: Forza Italia’s political ‘heritage’ and the mainstreaming of the far right, in Valerio Alfonso Brun, V. A. B. (ed.), Populism and Far-Right. Trends in Europe, EDUCatt, Milano 2022: 163- 195

‘Centre right? What centre right?’ Italy’s right-wing coalition: Forza Italia’s political ‘heritage’ and the mainstreaming of the far right

Bruno, Valerio Alfonso
2022

Abstract

The coalition between Fratelli d’Italia, Lega, Forza Italia and some minor allies is expected to win the Italian general election on 25 September 2022 by a considerable margin, at least according to all the opinion polls. Rather surprisingly, much of the public debate in Italy, including the media, politicians and polling institutes, still refers to the right-wing bloc as a centre-right coalition despite the presence of two fully-fledged far-right parties. In this chapter, we will a) introduce the main political players competing in the September 2022 general election, i.e. the right-wing coalition, the centre-left coalition, the M5S and the ‘third pole’ (terzo polo) composed of Azione and Italia Viva; we will then b) consider the ways in which Fratelli d’Italia and Lega are competing on the same far-right platform and which characteristics may give FdI a competitive edge over Lega; and lastly we will c) reflect on the factors that may have enabled Italy’s far-right coalition to be considered moderate centre-right, a label used since 1994 to describe coalitions led by Berlusconi and which no longer seem fitting given the presence of the two far-right parties. In conclusion, we will identify at least two elements, in fact two sides of the same coin, supporting the persistence of the centre-right definition: a) the ambiguous and controversial role within the coalition of Forza Italia, whose alleged moderation has been cleverlty sold to grant a sort of continuity to the use of the centrodestra label as opposed to ‘right wing’ or ‘far right’; and b) the skilful way in which the Italian far-right has managed to normalize itself and enter the mainstream over the last decade.
Inglese
Populism and Far-Right. Trends in Europe
978-88-9335-067-9
EDUCatt
Bruno, V. A., ‘Centre right? What centre right?’ Italy’s right-wing coalition: Forza Italia’s political ‘heritage’ and the mainstreaming of the far right, in Valerio Alfonso Brun, V. A. B. (ed.), Populism and Far-Right. Trends in Europe, EDUCatt, Milano 2022: 163- 195
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/219581
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