Growing Fusion of Populism and Euroscepticism in Italy: A Comparative Analysis of the League and The Five Star Movement


  • Selcen Öner Bahcesehir University Department of Political Science and International Relations Assocç Prof. Dr.



populism, European Parliament Elections, The Five Star Movement, The League, Italy, Euroscepticism


There has been a growing fusion of populism and Euroscepticism in European politics, especially after recent economic and migration crises. Despite being a founding EU member and one of the most Europhile countries, Italy has seen the simultaneous rise of populism and Euroscepticism, especially after the last national elections in 2018. After introducing its conceptual and analytical framework, based on the growing fusion of populism and Euroscepticism, this article compares the League and the Five Star Movement (M5S) in terms of populism and Euroscepticism and their policies before the last European Parliament elections in 2019. The qualitative analysis is based on semi-structured, face-to-face, indepth interviews with elite and expert participants conducted by the author in Italy in 2018.

Author Biography

Selcen Öner, Bahcesehir University Department of Political Science and International Relations Assocç Prof. Dr.

Selcen Öner is working as Assoc. Prof. Dr. at Bahçeşehir University (Istanbul) at the Department of Political Science and International Relations. She finished her PhD at Marmara University EU Institute at the Department of EU Politics and International Relations. She finished her MA at Marmara University at the department of Political Science and International Relations. She finished her undergraduate degree at Istanbul University at Department of International Relations. She worked as a lecturer at Jean Monnet Module between 2013-2014, then she had been also coordinator of the module on “Justice Freedom and Security in the EU” in 2014-2015. She worked as a visiting professor at LUISS University in Rome in fall semester 2018. She gave a master course on “Justice Freedom and Security Policy in the EU” at LUISS School of Government. She was a visiting scholar at Free University of Brussels IES (Institute for European Studies), University of Aalborg and Free University of Berlin, KFG (The Transformative Power of Europe) FP7 Project, and at IBEI at Pompeu Fabra University. Her research interests are European identity, Turkey-EU relations, migration and asylum policy of the EU, populism and radical right parties in European politics. Some of her recent publications are:   Öner, Selcen, Turkey and the European Union: The Question of European Identity, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Pub., July 2011.   Öner, S. and M. Gokay Ozerim, `What Makes Turkey and Turkish Immigrants a Cultural Polarization Issue in Europe?: Evidences from the European Populist Politics`, in Hope and Nostalgia at the Intersection between Culture and Welfare, Springer Pub., 2020.   Öner, S., “Turkey as a Strategic Partner of the EU during the Refugee Crisis: The Challenges and Prospects”, Timofey Agarin and Nevena Nancheva (Eds), A European Crisis: Perspectives on Refugees, Solidarity and Europe, Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag Pub., 2018.


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