Italy Swings Populist- The Beginning of the Second Republic

The Plague of Populism

By Jacob Braun

Silvio Berlusconi, Italian House of Representatives 1994, via WikiMedia Commons Public Domain

Coming out of the major scandals that rocked the Christian Democrats and Italian Socialists, an unlikely political outsider takes the reins of Italy in the 1994 election: Silvio Berlusconi. Poised on bringing populist politics into the spotlight, Berlusconi and his centre-right coalition Forza Italia would prime the Second Republic to be a conservative European stronghold. Along with the official formation of the European Union in 1993, Berlusconi’s populism would prove to be beneficial to fellow conservatives later down the line…


Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party was the main point of a three-party alliance which also included Lega Nord and the Alleanza Nazionale. These radical right-wing parties were strongly associated with the new Prime Minister’s anti-elitist and anti-corruption platform. Most notably, Alleanza Nazionale is the direct successor of the old postwar…

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