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Populism, Populists, and the Crisis of Political Parties

A Comparison of Italy, Austria, and Germany 1990–2015

2018. Tab., Abb.; 338 S.
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ISBN 978-3-428-55418-8
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The parliamentary elections of 2017 in Germany and Austria as well as the general elections in Italy 2018 have deeply changed the party and government system. The German party Alternative for Germany has been prominently elected into the parliament, the Austrian Freedom Party forms part of the government together with the Austrian People's Party, Italy has its first government of populists with the 5 Stars Movement and the Northern League. Those who seek to understand how these transformations came about in just a short period of time, will find some illuminating answers in this book. Analysis, developments, assessments and trends by renowned historians and political scientists prove that populism in these three countries has a history on which it can successfully build. This includes the crisis of historical parties which have continuously lost their political cohesiveness and trustworthiness.


Günther Pallaver, Michael Gehler and Maurizio Cau

I. Historical Perspectives and Transformation Process

Michael Gehler
Different Paths toward Europe? Germany, Italy, and Austria 1945–2009

Karin Priester
Right-wing Populism in Europe

Koen Abts and Rudi Laermans
Populism: Definitions, Questions, Problems, and Theories

Maurizio Cau
Populism vs Constitutionalism. The Theoretical Core of Populist Ideology and the Foundations of the Democratic System

Günther Pallaver
Populism in the Mainstream Media. Germany, Austria, and Italy in Comparison

II. Political Actors Shaping the Populist Challenge

Reinhold Gärtner
Jörg Haider and His Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs

Marco Brunazzo
The Northern League: Bossi, Salvini, and the Many Faces of Populism

Giovanni Orsina
Berlusconi as a Circumstantial Populist

Lutz Klinkhammer
Gianfranco Fini. From Neofascist »Dauphin« to anti-Fascist »Traitor«

Frank Decker
»Alternative für Deutschland«. The Belated Arrival of Rightwing Populism in the Federal Republic

Manfred Görtemaker
Angela Merkel and Romano Prodi: Antithesis of Populism?

III. European Political Parties, Their Response to the Populist Challenge, and Their Treatment of Populism

Steven van Hecke and Alex Andrione-Moylan
Between Collaboration and Demarcation. The European People's Party and the Populist Wave

Giovanni Bernardini
Social Democracy and the Challenge of Populism

Hans Heiss
The Greens and Populism: A Contradiction in Terms?

Guido Thiemeyer
European Liberal Parties and the Challenge of Populism

Anton Pelinka
Populism. A Short Conclusion to the Volume

Index of Names, Contributors


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