Pop-socialism: A new radical left politics? Evaluating the rise and fall of the British and Italian left in the anti-austerity age

Bradley Ward, Marco Guglielmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article draws from primary research – including 46 semi-structured interviews – to provide a comparative analysis of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the British Labour Party between 2015 and 2020, and Nichi Vendola’s leadership of the Italian radical left between 2010 and 2015. It is claimed that both cases represent a new form of left politics – which we term pop-socialism – that combines popular-democratic appeals to the ‘people’ with the traditional class-based demands of democratic socialism. This contributes to recent literature on radical left politics and left populism by providing an insight into the underexplored relationship between popular-democratic and class politics. Moreover, the article provides an important empirical account of Corbyn and Vendola’s rapid mobilisation but also their equally abrupt decline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Early online date25 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Corbynism
  • democratic socialism
  • Italian radical left
  • left parties
  • populism

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