Event Date: 15 – 17 May 2019
Richmond University – The American University in London
Richmond TW10 6JP
A Century of Radical Right Extremism: New Approaches
Dr Elisabetta Cassina-Wolff (University of Oslo) – Ideological continuity and political camouflage. The ‘new’ party CasaPound Italia’s fascist origins
This paper aims to be a contribution to the ongoing debate among scholars concerning the question whether recent formed right-wing radical parties represent a new phenomenon and a break with the fascist tradition or whether they remain close to a fascist ideology. This paper will focus on a specific national radical right-wing party: CasaPound Italia (CPI), born in 2003 and self-declared ‘fascist’. The recent relative political success of CPI at local election gives the opportunity to further explore its ideological origins. While existing research coming from the fields of sociology and political science insists on the intervention of external factors such as the economic crisis of 2008 in order to explain a new ‘wave’ of right-wing radicalism in Italy, this article will show the constant evolving of right-wing radical discourse over a longer historical period. The analysis will mainly delve into the ideological and political connections between CPI leader Gianluca Iannone and three previous and/or contemporary leading exponents of the Italian and European radical right: Pino Rauti, Roberto Fiore and Gabriele Adinolfi. Through a narrative style, and using a historical approach and qualitative text-analysis, this paper argues that their experiences represent indeed the roots and sources for Iannone’s project with CPI. My analysis aims at examining the patterns of continuity in Italian and European right-wing radicalism, showing that the legacy from a long-standing fascist tradition is still influencing today’s political discourse in spite of political camouflage and correctness.