Employing primary sources and interviews with protagonists of the rebellion of the Italian North, this book explores the invention of the Padanian nation and the construction of identity politics in Northern Italy. It reveals for the first time the connection between the ethnic wave in European party politics in the 1970s and the rise of a new radical right nationalism in the 1990s. The author highlights the way in which the discourse of national minorities was instrumental in the rise of a new political agenda that links territory, identity and cultural rights to create new boundaries of exclusion. In addition to clarifying the connection between the new nationalism and racism by demonstrating how cultural distinctiveness is constructed in contemporary European politics, this unique book also explores the dynamics of new party mobilization and the symbolic resources of nationalist rhetoric. This book presents for the first time data on political participation - both party elites and members - and the real dimension of the party organization.
Table of Contents
Contents: Perspectives on peripheral nationalism in Europe; New political mobilization in Northern Italy; Manufacturing a united north; Lega Nord and the political construction of otherness; Party mobilization and symbolic resources; An ethno-territorial cleavage in the Italian party system?; Conclusions; References.
’Margarita GÃ³mez-Reino has written a very well informed book on the Lega Nord and relates the electoral successes of the Italian Leagues to other attempts to mobilize ethnicity. By combining political opportunity structure - and social cleavage theories she takes a step forward in the field of social movement research.’ Professor Meindert Fennema, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands 'The originality of Gomez's approach is the outcome of her accurate use of new methodological devices as well as of her impressive fieldwork...Moreover, Gomez succeeds in overcoming the interpretations of the Northern League as the unique product of a typical Italian subculture - i.e. one of industrial districts and of catholic solidarity - as well as those ones which cancel its specificity and its roots in the particular geographical situation and historical moment.' Regional and Federal Studies