Research project: Populism and National Political Cultures (Daniele Caramani and Luca Manucci)

This research project analyses populism in a longitudinal historical perspective. First, it analyses its emergence since the 1970s through empirical data based on the coding of press and party manifestos in collaboration with the NCCR Module 2 research group. The project investigates the long-term cultural “roots” of populism and asks the basic question about the relationship between national political cultures and the opportunity for populism to develop. Second, it analyses the impact of the re-elaboration of past experiences (fascism, colonialism, etc.) on the possibility of a populist discourse in either the media or politics. In addition, the project analyses the rise of technocracy as a pendant of populism and addresses the implications of this double challenge for representative democracy and the responsible party model.


  • Swiss National Science Foundation and NCCR.


  • Talk by Daniele Caramani at the council for European Studies on "Populism and the Past", Madrid, June 20-22, 2019.
  • Talk by Daniele Caramani at the Carlos lll -Juan March Institute, Madrid, October 26, 2018.
  • Manucci, Luca (2017). Populism and Collective Memory: Comparing Fascist Legacies in Western Europe (doctoral dissertation).
  • Caramani, Daniele (2017). Will vs. Reason: The Technocratic and Populist Forms of Representation and Their Critique to Party Government. American Political Science Review 111(1): 54-67.
  • Caramani, Daniele and Luca Manucci (20019). National Past and Populism: The Re-Elaboration of Fascism and Right-Wing Populism in Eight West-European Countries. West European Politics DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2019.1596690
  • Manucci, Luca (2017). Populism and the Media. In Rovira C. Kaltwasser (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Populism, Oxford: Ofxord University Press (pp. 467-88).
  • Manucci, Luca and Edward Weber (2017). Why the Big Picture Matters: Political and Media Populism in Western Europe since 1970. Swiss Political Science Review 23(4): 313-34.
  • Manucci, Luca and Michael Amsler (2017). Where the Wind Blows: Five Star Movement’s Populism, Direct Democracy and Ideological Flexibility. Italian Political Science Review (online first).