Advertisement

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
  • 197 Downloads

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Populism Nationalism Regionalism Party politics Euroscepticism 

References

  1. Albertazzi, D. 2006. The Lega dei Ticinesi: The Embodiment of Populism. Politics 26(2): 133–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albertazzi, D. 2007. Addressing “the People”: A Comparative Study of the Lega Nord's and Lega dei Ticinesi's Political Rhetoric and Styles of Propaganda. Modern Italy 12(3): 327–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albertazzi, D., and D. McDonnell. 2005. The Lega Nord in the second Berlusconi Government: In a League of Its Own. Western European Politics 28(5): 952–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Albertazzi, D., A. Giovannini, and A. Seddone. 2018. ‘No regionalism please, we are Leghisti !’ The transformation of the Italian Lega Nord under the leadership of Matteo Salvini. Journal of Regional and Federal Studies. 28(5): 645–671.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anckar, C. 2008. On the Applicability of the Most Similar Systems Design and the Most Different Systems Design in Comparative Research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 11(5): 389–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arzheimer, K.A.I., and E. Carter. 2006. Political Opportunity Structures and Right-Wing Extremist Party Success. European Journal of Political Research 45(3): 419–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bottel, M., O. Mazzoleni, and G. Pallaver. 2016. Are Government Regionalist Parties Mainstream Parties? A Comparison Between the Südtiroler Volkspartei, the Union Valdôtaine, and the Lega dei Ticinesi. Contemporary Italian Politics 8(2): 160–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caiani, M., and N. Conti. 2014. In the Name of the People: The Euroscepticism of the Italian Radical Right. Perspectives on European Politics and Society 15(2): 183–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chari, R.S., et al. 2004. Examining and Explaining the Northern League ‘U-Turn’ from Europe. Government and Opposition 39(3): 423–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christiansen, T. 1998. Plaid Cymru: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Welsh Regional Nationalism. In Regionalist Parties in Western Europe, ed. L. De Winter and H. Türsan, 125–142. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Connor, W. 1994. Ethnonationalism. The Quest of Understanding. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. De Cleen, B. 2017. Populism and Nationalism. In The Oxford Handbook of Populism, ed. C. Rovira Kaltwasser, P. Taggart, P. Ostiguy, and P. Ochoa Espejo, 342–362. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. De Lauretis, M., and B. Giussani. 1992. La Lega dei Ticinesi: Indagine sul fenomeno che ha sconvolto il Ticino politico. Locarno: Armando Dadò.Google Scholar
  14. De Winter, L., and C.M. Gomez-Reino. 2002. European Integration and Ethnoregionalist Parties. Party Politics 8(4): 483–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Detterbeck, K. 2012. Multilevel Party Politics in Western Europe. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Elias, A. 2008. From Euro-Enthusiasm to Euro-Scepticism? A Re-evaluation of Minority Nationalist Party Attitudes Towards European Integration. Regional and Federal Studies 18(5): 557–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Franzi, A., and A. Madron. 2015. Matteo Salvini, Il Militante. Firenze: Goware.Google Scholar
  18. Giugni, M. 2009. Political Opportunities: From Tilly to Tilly. Swiss Political Science Review 15(2): 361–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gobbi, N. 2016. Liberi e svizzeri, ricordiamocelo ogni giorno! http://vais.ch/liberi-e-svizzeri-ricordiamocelo-ogni-giorno. Accessed 20 March 2018.
  20. Gobbi, N. 2017. La Svizzera è un paese libero…, 9 June. http://www.lega-dei-ticinesi.ch. Accessed 27th July 2017.
  21. Gomez-Reino, C.M. 2014. European Integration and An Alternative Party Family: Regionalist Parties and the European Question. In Europe’s Contend-ing Identities. Supranationalism, Ethnoregionalism, Religion and New Nationalism, ed. A.C. Gould and A.M. Messina, 118–140. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Harmsen, R. 2010. Concluding Comment: On Understanding the Relationship Between Populism and Euroscepticism. Perspectives on European Politics and Society 11(3): 333–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Heinisch, R., and O. Mazzoleni. 2017. Analysing and Explaining Populism: Bringing Frame, Actor and Context Back. In Political Populism. A Handbook, ed. R. Heinisch, C. Holz-Bacha, and O. Mazzoleni, 105–122. Nomos: Baden-Baden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heinisch, R., E. Massetti, and O. Mazzoleni. 2018. Populism and ethno-territorial politics in European multilevel systems. Comparative European Politics (Special issue)??.Google Scholar
  25. Hellmann, O. 2011. Political Parties and Electoral Strategy. The Development of Party Organization in East Asia. London and New York: Palgrave-MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hepburn, E. 2008. The Rise and Fall of a ‘Europe of the Regions’. Regional and Federal Studies 18(5): 537–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hepburn, E. 2010. Using Europe: Territorial Party Strategies in a Multi-Level Systems. Manchester: Manchester University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hueglin, T.O. 1986. Regionalism in Western Europe: Conceptual Problems of a New Political Perspective. Comparative Politics 18(4): 439–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ignazi, P. 2006. Extreme Right Parties in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Jolly, K.S. 2015. The European Union and the Rise of Regionalist Parties. Ann Harbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Keating, M. 2003. The Invention of Regions: Political Restructuring and Territorial Government in Western Europe. In State/Space: A Reader, ed. N. Brenner, B. Jessop, M. Jones, and G. MacLeod, 257–277. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  32. Keating, M., and L. Hooghe. 2006. Bypassing the Nation-State: Regions and EU Process. In European Union: Power and Policy-Making, ed. J. Richardson, 239–256. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Keating, M., and J. McGarry. 2001. Minority Nationalism and the Changing International Order. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kitschelt, H. 1986. Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest. British Journal of Political Science 16: 57–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. LT. 2015. L’alleanza con l’UDC alle nazionali si può fare, a patto che…, 3rd June. http://www.lega-dei-ticinesi.ch. Accessed 27 July 2017.
  36. Madron, A. 2015. Lega Nord, la base chiede ancora la secessione a Salvini: ‘Ok il consenso, ma non dimenticare il tuo popolo’. Il Fatto Quotidiano, 22 November.Google Scholar
  37. Maggi, A. 2016. Elezioni, Salvini perde voti a favore di Casapound e alza i toni. http://www.affaritaliani.it/politica/lega-salvini-casapound-elezioni-421199.html?refresh_ce/. Accessed 20 April 2017.
  38. Martelloni, M. 2018. Bossi contro Salvini: "Se fosse saltata la Lombardia, finiva impiccato come l'amico Mussolini, 1.4. 2018. Video iInterview of Umberto Bossi for Repubblica Television. https://video.repubblica.it/politica/bossi-contro-salvini-se-fosse-saltata-la-lombardia-finiva-impiccato-come-l-amico-mussolini/300580/301210. Accessed 10 Sept 2018.
  39. Maspoli, F. 1992. Chi vuole l’Europa? Il Mattino della Domenica, 24 May.Google Scholar
  40. Massetti, E. 2009. Explaining Regionalist Party Positioning in a Multi-dimensional Ideological Space: A Framework for Analysis. Regional and Federal Studies 19(4–5): 501–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mazzoleni, O. 2005. Multilevel Populism and Centre-Periphery Cleavage in Switzerland. The Case of the Lega dei Ticinesi. In Challenges to Consensual Politics: Democracy, Identity, and Populist Protest in the Alpine Region, ed. Yves Mény and Daniele Caramani, 209–227. Bruxelles: PIE-Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  42. Mazzoleni, O. 2016. A Regionalist League in Southern Switzerland. In Regionalist Parties in Western Europe. Dimensions of Success, ed. O. Mazzoleni and S. Mueller, 152–168. Abingdon, New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mazzoleni, O. 2017. Les défis du régionalisme politique en Suisse. Le Tessin et ses relations avec Berne. Geneva: Slatkine.Google Scholar
  44. Mazzoleni, O., and S. Mueller. 2017. Cross-Border Integration through Contestation? Political Parties and Media in the Swiss-Italian Borderland. Journal of Borderlands Studies 32(2): 173–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mazzoleni, O., C. Rossini, A. Pilotti, and V. Debons. 2017. Partecipazione, partiti, personalizzazioni e temi. Lausanne: Les Cahiers de l’IEPHI.Google Scholar
  46. Mudde, C. 2007. Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pauwels, T. 2011. Explaining the Strange Decline of the Populist Radical Right Vlaams Belang in Belgium: The Impact of Permanent Opposition. Acta Politica 46(1): 60–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Przeworski, A., and H. Teune. 1970. The Logic of Comparative Social Inquiry. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  49. Quadri, L. 2017. Amministrazione federale: njet alla preferenza indigena! Il Mattino della Domenica, 5 March.Google Scholar
  50. Rapisarda, A. 2015. All’armi siam leghisti. Come e perché Matteo Salvini ha conquistato la Destra. Roma: Aliberti Wingsbert House.Google Scholar
  51. Rusconi, G. 1994. Gegen die Tessiner ‘Partitokratie’. In Rechte und Linke Fundamentaloppisition. Studien zur Schweizer Politik. 1965–1990, ed. U. Altermatt et al., 154–173. Helbing & Lichtenhahn: Basel und Frankfurt a.m.Google Scholar
  52. Ruzza, C. 2004. The Northern League: Winning arguments, losing influence. In Movements of Exclusion: Radical Right-wing Populism in Western Europe, ed. J. Rydgren, 65–94. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.Google Scholar
  53. Ruzza, C., and S. Fella. 2009. Re-Inventing the Italian Right: Territorial Politics, Populism and ‘Post-Fascism’. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Salvini, M. 2017a. Salvini, Governo si fa prendere in giro dall’UE, 5 July. https://www.prpchannel.com/blog/salvini-governo-si-prendere-giro-dallue. Accessed 20 July 2017.
  55. Salvini, M. 2017b. European Parliament Speech (posted in Salvini’s Facebook, 5 July 2017. Accessed 10 August 2017.Google Scholar
  56. Smith, A. 1995. Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  57. Taggart, P. 2000. Populism. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Verney, S. 2012. Euroscepticism in Southern Europe. A Diachronic Perspective. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Vignati, R. 2018. Elezioni Politiche 2018: le prime analisi sui flussi di voto. Il Pd cede voti al M5s e a Leu Nel Centro-nord, la Lega attrae voti pentastellati Al Sud, un M5 s ‘pigliatutti’. Bologna: Istituto Carlo Cattaneo. www.cattaneo.org. Accessed 25 March 2018.

Copyright information

© 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

Personalised recommendations