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Where the wind blows: five star movement’s populism, direct democracy and ideological flexibility


Manucci, Luca; Amsler, Michael (2018). Where the wind blows: five star movement’s populism, direct democracy and ideological flexibility. Italian Political Science Review = Rivista italiana di scienza politica, 48(01):109-132.

Abstract

The paper focusses on the online political discourse of the Five Star Movement (5SM) and its strategic adaptability. The main goal of the analysis is to establish how salient several topics are over time in order to test the party’s ideological flexibility. Indeed, 5SM’s post-ideological approach and its emphasis on direct-democratic tools might constitute a winning formula for other populist parties willing to exploit the crisis of the mainstream parties and representation. The paper, through an automated content analysis, tracks the longitudinal evolution of the salience of the topics addressed by 5SM on the party’s blog. This allows us to establish which topics are at the core of the party’s message and which, on the other hand, have been raised strategically over time. Results show that 5SM’s discourse is very flexible and adaptable: it devotes a large space to the importance of direct democracy while flexibly addressing different topics depending on the political and social context.

Abstract

The paper focusses on the online political discourse of the Five Star Movement (5SM) and its strategic adaptability. The main goal of the analysis is to establish how salient several topics are over time in order to test the party’s ideological flexibility. Indeed, 5SM’s post-ideological approach and its emphasis on direct-democratic tools might constitute a winning formula for other populist parties willing to exploit the crisis of the mainstream parties and representation. The paper, through an automated content analysis, tracks the longitudinal evolution of the salience of the topics addressed by 5SM on the party’s blog. This allows us to establish which topics are at the core of the party’s message and which, on the other hand, have been raised strategically over time. Results show that 5SM’s discourse is very flexible and adaptable: it devotes a large space to the importance of direct democracy while flexibly addressing different topics depending on the political and social context.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Computational Linguistics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
320 Political science
410 Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:populism, direct democracy, ideology, political discourse
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:14 Feb 2018 09:05
Last Modified:31 Mar 2018 07:13
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:2057-4908
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/ipo.2017.23

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