I know that the right-left political spectrum is slippery. Most people consider it dead and buried. End of history, post-ideological world, and whatnot.
In this interview, Samuele Mazzolini discusses the similarities and differences between Latin American left-wing populism (especially in Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia) and European left-wing populism ( in particular about Syriza, Corbyn and Podemos).
Mazzolini is a PhD candidate in Ideology and Discourse Analysis at the University of Essex. His theoretical research focuses on the notions of populism and hegemony in Laclau, while empirically he works on the experiences of the Italian Communist Party and the Ecuadorian Citizens’ Revolution. He previously worked for the Ecuadorian government and was until little ago a regular columnist of the State-owned daily newspaper El Telégrafo. He is a blogger for the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. Continue reading
One can read the results of the elections in seven Italian regions from a national perspective, even if this is an exercise that does not guarantee any consistent prediction. However, it can provide some important clues of what will happen in the future.
First of all, the results in the figure below are not complete. In fact, the results of single parties are not there: in regional elections, mainstream parties are linked to small local coalitions and minor parties. Therefore, the candidates of major parties always receive support from other lists, and the single party (e.g. Lega Nord in Veneto: 17.82% out of a total 50.08%) scores lower than that shown in the chart. Continue reading
This is the first of many interviews that POP will propose in the next months. Scholars, journalists, politicians and experts will answer timing questions about the nature and development of populism. For this first interview, we have Samuele Mazzolini. He is a PhD candidate in Ideology and Discourse Analysis at the University of Essex. His research focuses on the declining hegemony of the Italian Left, read through the lenses of post-Marxist discourse theory. He is also interested in Latin American and European left-wing populism. He previously worked for the Ecuadorian government and is now a regular columnist of the state-owned daily newspaper El Telégrafo. He is also a blogger for the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.
Imagine. It is a rainy Tuesday evening. You realize that you wanted to tidy up the attic since a long time. Imagine. You find an old box. You open it, and a huge quantity of paper bobs up. And then you remember: your grandmother always told you that once, in the old times, the newspapers were printed. From your perspective, from a rainy Tuesday evening in the 22nd century, it is pure madness. You are curious, though. You just grab the first on top of the heap.
You open it. A stale smell of dust and ink. Page five. An article about the European Parliament. Yes, you think, you heard of that. Probably from your grandma. You start reading. Continue reading
Today, New Zealand counts seven sheep for every person, but the proportion was 20/1 in 1983. Why mentioning such a trivial statistic? Because the populist guys – those who share the concerns of the man of the street – will explain the phenomenon telling us that some conspiracy lurks in the background, maybe some international corporation is stealing sheep in order to manipulate the oil price through the wool price, and the people must know where the sheep have gone. They have the right to know. OK, maybe I am not fair: some of these populist guys are probably smarter than this, or less practical, but this point will become clearer later on.