FROM PERFORMATIVE ANTI-FASCISM TO POST-FASCISM: THE LEGA (NORD)'S POLITICAL DISCOURSE IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT

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Abstract

This article addresses a significant gap in the literature on the Lega (Nord) by examining the resemiotisation of the party’s early discourse of ‘performative anti-fascism’ under Umberto Bossi into the current ‘post-fascist’ discursive strategy of Matteo Salvini’s Lega. Employing a Discourse Historical Approach (DHA), we perform a two-step analysis. First, through an examination of textual and visual documents produced by and about Umberto Bossi’s party, this article examines the Lega’s process of reconceptualizing and recontextualising anti-fascism; second, through an analysis of Matteo Salvini’s Lega, the article identifies how ‘post-fascism’ has evolved from ‘performative anti-fascism’. The article makes three contributions: first, it encourages a shift away from a focus purely on the Lega’s populism towards articulations of its far right ideology; second, it illustrates the importance of focusing on long-term enactments of discursive shifts and a normalization/mainstreaming of far right ideology; finally, it contributes to a new conceptualization of post-fascism as a discursive feature of far right ideology rather than an ideology in and of itself.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Political Ideologies
Early online date11 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2022

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