Il Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) è la più importante novità politica del decennio appena trascorso. Dopo l’ottimo esordio alle elezioni politiche del 2013, nel 2018 il M5S ha incrementato il proprio consenso, raccogliendo circa un terzo dei voti validi. Nella sua dinamica evolutiva è sembrato occupare i vuoti di rappresentanza determinati dall’urgenza di problemi sociali ed economici e dalla sfiducia nelle formazioni politiche più tradizionali. Ha subito e subisce, quindi, la concorrenza di altri partiti che crescono sulla frontiera della crisi. Prova ne è la mutata distribuzione territoriale del voto: se nel 2013 il M5S era considerato il «nuovo vero partito della nazione», nel 2018 emerge una chiara localizzazione territoriale del voto, col Sud che premia il M5S e il Nord la Lega di Salvini. Questo numero di Meridiana si prefigge l’obiettivo di indagare in profondità alcuni aspetti utili a comprendere gli elementi, talora contraddittori, che hanno caratterizzato l’exploit del 2018 (ma anche il successivo declino), a partire dalle modalità di azione e dalle caratteristiche con cui il M5S si presenta nel Mezzogiorno. Consensi che si aggirano in media al 47% dei voti fanno tornare alla mente altre stagioni e attori politici, ma in questo caso l’affermazione si è realizzata senza mediatori insediati nei territori, senza ricorso al voto di preferenza, senza cospicue rappresentanze istituzionali, senza vantare esperienze significative nel governo locale. Insomma, il voto per il M5S al Sud appare come una scatola nera che è necessario aprire per capire meglio dove va la politica italiana. E dove va il Mezzogiorno. Gli articoli che compongono la sezione monografica di questo numero vanno oltre i grandi quadri esplicativi di portata nazionale o macroregionale, soffermandosi su alcuni aspetti puntuali e circoscritti. Il M5S è riuscito a intercettare gran parte del voto meridionale espressione di un disagio sociale, ottenendo consensi ampi nelle aree periferiche delle grandi città (non solo meridionali, come testimonia il saggio su Milano), in passato roccaforti della sinistra, dove le reti di solidarietà informale risultano più indebolite. Sul piano della composizione della sua classe politica (sulla quale si concentrano i saggi sul ceto politico regionale e sul personale politico siciliano), il partito ha saputo proporre candidati nuovi, rappresentativi di una varietà di categorie sociali. Ma la debole connessione con i circuiti fiduciari e di scambio dei contesti locali ha rappresentato anche un limite nella sua capacità di penetrazione, in modo particolare dove il radicamento elettorale viene sfidato da reti clientelari preesistenti (come nel caso calabrese) o da soggetti politici complementari che condividono con il M5S radici comuni (ad esempio il Movimento arancione a Napoli). Ne risulta un quadro incerto, messo fortemente in discussione dall’esperienza di governo iniziata nel giugno del 2018 che sembra aver accelerato l’inevitabile processo di invecchiamento di un partito «nuovo», come mostra anche il saggio che accosta la vicenda dell’Uomo qualunque a quella del M5S.
«A riveder le stelle»? Voto e mutamento politico nel Mezzogiorno
Luciano Brancaccio, Vittorio Mete e Dario Tuorto
The central political role of the Five Star Movement (5SM) in the present legislature is a significant novelty for Italy. Furthermore, the sheer entity of this new political party’s success, together with its staying power over the course of time, are unique within the framework of politics worldwide. Another interesting aspect of the 5SM’s success is the geographical distribution of its electorate: in the 2018 general election, the 5SM was incredibly successful, gaining on average one half of all votes cast, in that part of Italy where socio-economic problems have traditionally been more urgent, and where the economic crisis has hit the hardest: Southern Italy. What are the underlying reasons for such massive support for the party in that part of Italy? Which candidates stood for the 5SM in the various different constituencies of the South? The essays contained in the monographic section of this volume published by Meridiana each adopt a different approach, and offer a broad range of answers, to such questions, by analysing specific local aspects of the complex relationship between voters, parties and electoral rules in Italy’s economically weakest regions. They also reveal a number of underlying characteristics of politics in the South: electoral volatility as an expression of strong, persistent political discontent; and the lasting importance of the local patronage networks that shape electoral consensus and political representation.
Keywords: South Italy; Five Star Movement; Elections
The 2018 general election saw the impressive success of the Five Star Movement. Unlike the previous election, when the party’s electoral base was homogeneous at national level, in the 2018 election the 5SM won the majority of its votes in the South of Italy. Which factors led so many people to vote for the party? Were these factors similar throughout the country, or did they vary across different geographical areas? In what terms did the territorial distribution of votes reflect the economic, social and political characteristics of the local context? Based on the Itanes post-electoral surveys, the article compares the profiles of 5SM voters in the South of Italy with those in other regions. Socio-demographic dimensions, political attitudes and voters’ positions on key questions, are examined together with more general information on the characteristics of the local context (e.g. labour market statistics). Our main argument is that the electoral success of the 5SM in one part of Italy only was due to its ability to catalyse voters’ attention around the issue of (real or perceived) economic difficulties, and hence to win in those areas where the impact of such difficulties was higher.
Keywords: Populism; Economic voting; territorial cleavages
Il Movimento 5 Stelle e la personalizzazione alle elezioni regionali: un partito in trasformazione
Lucia Montesanti, Francesca Veltri
Regional elections offer a privileged point of view compared to general and European elections, in that they closely involve the local territory. This is also true for the Five Star Movement, which is made up of local groups, simple activists, and elected and national staff. This article focuses on the process of personalization characterizing the 5SM at the regional elections held between 2010 and 2019, by analysing the profiles both of candidates for the position of President of regional government and of candidates for the position of regional councillor, and by comparing those profiles with the ones of the other parties’ elected representatives. We aim to assess whether the 5SM’s candidates managed to establish personal visibility and support networks, or whether their success was tied to the popularity of the national leader and to the party brand.
Keywords: Five Star Movement; Political personalization; Political class
Tra innovazione e normalizzazione: la rappresentanza politica del Movimento 5 Stelle in Sicilia
Giancarlo Minaldi, Sorina Soare
The existing literature widely depicts the Five Star Movement as a phenomenon of strong opposition to the usual form of politics. Consequently, this study aims to analyse the evolution of the socio-demographic features of the 5SM’s Sicilian representatives, and the ways in which they account for the nature and operation of the relationship between political representatives and those represented. Sicily was chosen because of the region’s importance to the 5SM’s electoral breakthrough after 2009, and more generally due to the number of Sicilian MPs present in the national parliamentary arena. Based on a data set encapsulating the standard socio-demographic features of Sicilian regional and national MPs, together with seven semi-structured interviews with representatives elected to both the Regional and National Assemblies, the analysis provides an in-depth view of the concept of political representation within the 5SM and, more importantly, confirms the persisting perception of it as a movement in terms of its political action. Our analysis shows that the prevailing perception that Sicilian 5SM representatives have of their political role is largely unrelated to the concept of “direct participation” through the Rousseau Platform, but instead places great value in the close relationship with supporters through local meetings. This perception appears to clash strongly with the most recent organizational practices proposed by the political leadership and approved via the Rousseau Platform in 2019.
Keywords: Five Star Movement; Representation; Sicilian region; Militancy
The article examines the electoral performance, at various levels of government, of the Five Star Movement in the Italian region of Calabria. The analysis reveals a considerable variation in the votes cast for this party at different levels: in general and European elections, the 5SM received a considerable number of votes, whereas in regional and municipal elections its share of the vote was much lower. This substantial difference cannot be interpreted solely in the light of the literature on second-order elections; account must also be taken of the specific nature of the region’s political culture, its voting traditions, and the diversity of those areas making up the region. The differentiation of voting for the 5SM has resulted in a unique situation in the history of the region: the 5SM, Calabria’s leading party at local and national levels, at present has more elected representatives from the region in Parliament than it does in Calabria’s regional and municipal governments. Thus the classical pyramidal shape of the political class has changed, as have the trajectories followed by politicians’ careers. A new type of party has emerged in which, paradoxically, the weight of its parliamentary representatives is greater than that of any other party.
Keywords: Calabria; Five Star Movement; Elections
Il voto del Movimento 5 Stelle nelle aree marginali. Le elezioni del 2018 a Napol
Ciro Clemente De Falco, Pietro Sabatino
The article analyses the social geography of voting for the Five Star Movement in the city of Naples, with particular reference to the 2018 general election. Naples, as the largest city and metropolitan area in Southern Italy – one marked by strong socio-spatial inequalities that in the last decade has been faced with a major financial crisis of local government (and welfare system) - is an important case study for the evaluation of connections between voting behaviour and urban segregation. Since the 2016 municipal elections held in Rome and Turin, voting behaviour in Italy’s urban areas has been increasingly characterized by a center-periphery cleavage. Districts with higher level of social, cultural and economic deprivation register a significantly higher percentage of votes for anti-system and populist parties, while both the traditional left- and right-wing parties (PD and Forza Italia) have been substantially confined to central, more affluent city neighbourhoods. The electoral behaviour of Naples’ sub-municipal units, based either on administrative borders (inner-city wards) or on homogenous socio-economic status (marginal areas) confirms this national dynamic. The electoral support for the Five Star Movement in Naples in 2018 was broadly correlated with socio-economic variables and was concentrated in marginal areas of the city. Furthermore, a long-term analysis of district electoral behaviour reveals significant similarities between the 5SM in 2018 and left-wing parties (notably the Italian Communist Party - Pci) in the seventies and eighties.
Keywords: Five Star Movement; Electoral Geography; Centre-periphery cleavage; Naples
Il populismo di sinistra: il Movimento 5 Stelle e il Movimento Arancione a Napoli
Luciano Brancaccio, Domenico Fruncillo
In the 2018 general election, the Five-Star Movement was the leading party in Naples by some distance, and it received the highest share of votes in the country as a whole. Since then it has experienced some very disappointing municipal election results in Naples. The main reason for this decline lies with the competition it has faced from the «Orange Movement», a political movement created around the figure of the Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, with which it shares some basic characteristics. The two movements are on the political left, and are opposed to the political class that has ruled the municipal government and the Campania Region in recent decades. This article analyses the relationship between these two movements, by examining the results from municipal, regional, national and European elections. Moreover, through interviews with key players and an analysis of news reports, it reconstructs the movements’ characteristics and their communication strategies. Finally, by means of an analysis of electoral flows at the municipal and sub-municipal level, it estimates the exchange and sharing of voters by the two political movements.
Keywords: Five Star Movement; Local politics; Electoral flows
Perché il Movimento 5 Stelle non ha sfondato a Milano? Un’analisi strutturale a scala metropolitana
Niccolò Morelli, Jonathan Pratschke, Tommaso Vitale, Bruno Cousin, Matteo Del Fabbro, Matteo Piolatto
In the aftermath of the 2018 general election results, several scholars have remarked on the inability of the Five Star Movement to increase its vote in Milan. While the role of demographic and socio-economic factors has been highlighted, little attention has been dedicated to understanding the complex role of spatial dynamics. This paper aims to contribute to the existing literature by inquiring about the relationship between support for the Five Star Movement and the characteristics of urban space in Milan. Following the longstanding debate in urban sociology, we recognise the importance of investigating this question beyond the borders of the central municipality. We overcome the problematic nature of standard approaches by analysing the entire Functional Urban Area of Milan as defined by the Oecd, using a new set of areas. Adopting an ecological approach, we define our spatial units in such a way that they have a sociological meaning and embrace the characteristics of the local population which actually voted at a specific polling station. We regress support for the Five Star Movement in each electoral district on a range of demographic, socio-economic and spatial variables. The results show that more disadvantaged districts beyond Milan’s municipal borders have a strong propensity towards supporting the Five Star Movement. Many of these areas were negatively affected by the economic crisis of 2008 and continue to experience severe difficulties. They are not places of extreme marginality, but may be described as «disenfranchised» areas with many unsatisfied needs that are largely ignored by the traditional parties.
Keywords: Electoral Behaviour; Spatial Analysis; Structural Analysis; Milan; Disenfranchisement
The present essay offers a comparison between two anti-systemic parties/movements, the Common Man’s Front (UQ – Uomo Qualunque) and the Five Star Movement, present in Italy in two different periods of the nation’s history: the former was present in the immediate post-war period; the latter has emerged in recent years. This comparison reveals several things that could be further analysed regarding the transformation of Italian politics and society since 1945, together with several similarities and differences between the UQ and the 5SM. The similarities mainly concern the lack of legitimization of the Italian political system, the opposition to existing political forces and elites, to the permanent North vs South territorial divide, the characters of the two founders and leaders, and the innovative communications strategies introduced to the national political scene. The differences, on the other hand, concern above all the length of their respective political lives, the scale of their electoral successes, the institutionalization processes and access to power and government, and their relationship with the mass ideological political party (with its origins in the former case, and with its demise in the latter case).
Keywords: Common Man’s Front; Five Star Movement; Italy; Populism
The recent history of the East Naples area portrays the transformation of the local urban landscape into a hostile environment for industrial enterprises. East Naples had a strong tradition of manufacturing in many productive sectors during the course of the Twentieth Century. However, from the 1970s onwards, urban overcrowding due to the continuous, random expansion of residential areas, has resulted in the declining competitiveness of industry, which in turn has dissuaded investors from investing in industry in East Naples. Environmental demands and an awareness of environmental limits, curb the presence of the most polluting productive sectors such as oil refinery and tanning. At the same time, negative economic trends, extraterritorial company management and public disinvestment in major factories, combined with local urban unrest and environmental awareness, have together repelled many industrial concerns. Despite opposition from local trade unions, ready to defend the area’s traditional identity, such factors have resulted in a slow process of deindustrialization which is still on-going.
Keywords: Naples; Urban environmental history; Deindustrialisation; Environmental awareness
During Mussolini’s dictatorship, the concept of squadrismo was an essential aspect of the Fascist identity. Squadrismo was widespread in Central and Northern Italy in particular, and certain cities in the South subsequently resorted to fabricating their own squadrist myths and traditions. This essay focuses on the case of Palermo. The relationship between the fascist squads’ origins and certain local leaders’ life histories is underlined. More specifically, an attempt is made to show how Palermo had more «political» prefects than many other Italian provinces. As Fascism emerged later in the South than elsewhere in Italy, the local party hierarchies had not taken part in the original Fascist struggles. These «political» prefects were thus used in order to ensure the presence of a ruling class that was linked to squadrismo within the city. The analysis of memories, ceremonies and commemorations shows how the myth of squadrismo was created in Palermo in the 1930s, through a constant interweaving of local and national representations of the phenomenon of squadrismo.
Keywords: Memory of squadrismo; Fascism in southern Italy; Fascist prefects
The meanings of modernity have important consequences for the interpretation of fundamentalist movements. S.N. Eisenstadt’s theory of multiple modernities offers an important theoretical tool for studying the development of fundamentalist movements. In this perspective, Western modernity is not conceived of as a reference paradigm, whereas modernity is seen as a differentiated plurality of development models. Eisenstadt’s studies of the axial age place fundamentalist movements at the intersection of axiality and modernity. This essay proposes an interpretation of the relationship between multiple axiality and modernity, and of the tension between the worldly order and the transcendent order, as conditions for the development of social criticism and fundamentalist movements. Thus the logic of the interconnection of political and religious arenas in Islamic societies is reconstructed, with a specific focus on the relationship between religion and violence. Finally, a definition is given of the specific characteristics of fundamentalist movements from the perspective of Eisenstadt’s theory.
Keywords: Eisenstadt; Multiple modernities; Fundamentalism; The axial age