The growth of populist radical right parties at the expense of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) has recently reconfigured the right in Italy. Changes in power relations created for the Lega (League), Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy, FdI) and FI, different competitive pressures, resulting in distinctive–and often conflicting–responses to the pandemic. Based on the analysis of these parties’ Twitter accounts and on survey data, this article examines how right-wing actors positioned themselves vis à vis the government, and each other, throughout 2020. Eventually, the League became the government’s most vocal critic, forcing FdI to follow suit; meanwhile, FI reinvented itself as a moderate, pro-EU party. Despite these changes, our analysis also stresses continuity, insofar as the alliance continued to craft its message around taxation, the EU, immigration and law/order, as it had done in the past. It also continued to enjoy electoral support similar to that of recent decades.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
©, The Founding Editors, Contemporary Italian Politics.
- Brothers of Italy
- Forza Italia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations