Comparative European Politics

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 976–992 | Cite as

Combining regionalism and nationalism: the Lega in Italy and the Lega dei Ticinesi in Switzerland

  • Oscar MazzoleniEmail author
  • Carlo Ruzza
Original Article


There is a general acceptance of the thesis that contemporary Western European regionalist parties develop strategies that aim to defend territorial interests in opposition to statewide authority. It would seem unlikely, therefore, to be able to identify a combination of regionalist claims and statewide nationalism coexisting within the strategy of a single party. This article contends, however, that the adoption of such a dual frame arises once regionalist parties perceive statewide nationalism as being less of a threat to regional interests than EU-promoted policies and politics. Secondly, it is argued that such a dual frame is likely to develop when specific facilitating conditions emerge. Focusing on this issue, the article compares two regionalist-rooted parties, the Lega Nord in Italy (recently renamed ‘Lega’) and the Lega dei Ticinesi in Switzerland.


Populism Nationalism Regionalism Party politics Euroscepticism 


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© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Political, Historical and International StudiesUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of International Studies and Department of SociologyUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

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