Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Book launch: Populism in Europe - Lessons from Umberto Bossi's Northern League

We are happy to announce the publication of a new book on the Northern League by two long-standing PSA-IPSG members:

Daniele Albertazzi and Davide Vampa (2021). Populism in Europe: Lessons from Umberto Bossi's Northern League. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

The book offers a detailed and systematic analysis of the ideology, electoral and governmental performances, organisational model, type of leadership and member activism of the Northern League under its founder, Umberto Bossi (1991-2012). Based on a wealth of original research, the book identifies the Northern League’s consistent and coherent ideology, its strong leadership and its ability to create communities of loyal partisan activists as key ingredients of its success. Through their in-depth analysis, Albertazzi and Vampa show that the League has much to teach us about how populists can achieve durability and rootedness and how parties of all kinds can still benefit from a committed and dedicated membership today.

Full details on how to order the book can be found here.

A launch event for the book is being co-organised by the University of Surrey, Aston University, PSA Italian Politics Specialist Group and facilitated by the ESRC funded Populism in Action project led by Pro. Daniele Albertazzi and Dr. Stijn van Kessel. Register for the event running 16:00-17:30 (UK time) on 20th October 2021. 

Monday, 20 September 2021

CfP - PSA22 Annual Conference (deadline 4 October 2021)

Political Studies Association Annual International Conference 2022
University of York – 11-13 April 2022 - #PSA2022
Call for papers and panels of the Italian Politics Specialist Group - IPSG

Within the broader theme of ‘Politics at the margins’, the Italian Politics Specialist Group, in collaboration with the Italian Political Science Association’s Standing Groups on ‘Regional and Local Policies’ and ‘Political Science and Public Policies’, invites papers and panels that deal with the following topics and questions:

The economic and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – What has been the impact of Covid-19 on Italian polity and economic fabric? To what extent has this impact been differentiated territorially and among different groups of individuals? Which factors have played a role, e.g. pre-existing levels of GDP, social capital, labour market structure, institutional quality and administrative capacity, etc.?

Public policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic – What policies have been put in place to tackle the effects of the pandemic – economic, social, institutional - at different levels, for example to support firms and the young, to tackle poverty and the furthering of territorial disparities, to promote digitalisation and a reform of public administrations, etc.? What kind of bottlenecks might hamper the effectiveness of these policies?

The political consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic – What has been the impact of the pandemic on the Italian party system, e.g. coalition dynamics, polarisation, fragmentation? How have populist and/or non-populist actors framed their pandemic narratives? To what extent the Covid-19 has impacted the fortunes of political parties, and what explains the different trends? What is the role of experts and technocracy in today’s party politics?

Papers and panels are invited that address with these topics from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, including exploratory papers that utilise new research methods and techniques. Comparative panels and papers, that couch the Italian case within a comparative perspective, are particularly encouraged.

The PSA Italian Politics Specialist Group is strongly committed to equality and to the support of early career researchers. A balanced gender representation will be ensured in all panels, as well as a ring-fencing of places for ECRs and scholars from underrepresented groups.

Submitting through our Specialist Group provides with several benefits including a better within-panel coherence and a high quality of accepted submissions thanks to a thorough and constructive review process.

Individual papers as well as full panel proposals will be accepted to feature within the section. Proponents should send by October 4th 2021 the following to the Group’s co-convenors Laura Polverari ( and Mattia Zulianello (

- For papers: Title; author(s) name(s) and institutional affiliation(s); 250 words abstract (max);
- For panels: 
  • Panel title, chair and discussant(s), and brief description (200 words max) 
  • Title, author(s) name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and abstract (250 words) of each paper included in the panel. 

For further information, contact: and/or

Monday, 5 July 2021

PSA Specialist Groups Spotlight: Italian Politics

The PSA-IPSG has been featured in the July edition of PSA News:

Each month we seek to highlight the PSA members behind our fantastic specialist groups and the work and research they do. As this is our final e-newsletter before the summer, we are delighted to tell you about two of our specialist groups: the Conservatism Studies Specialist Group and the Italian Politics Specialist Group.
Specialist Groups Spotlight: Italian Politics 
The group is co-convened by:

Our newly elected executive committee is an international team of leading specialists and early career academics working on different areas of Italian and comparative politics. 

For 2021–24, our outgoing co-convenors Dr Antonella Seddone (University of Turin) and Dr Davide Vampa (Aston University) have left the helm to Prof Laura Polverari (University of Padova) and Dr Mattia Zulianello (University of Birmingham). 

Prof James Newell, founder of the Group, continues to be chair, while other executive committee members comprise Dr Paolo Chiocchetti (secretary and media officer, European University Institute), Dr Dario Quattromani (membership officer, Roma Tre University), Ms Donatella Bonansinga (UK liaison officer, University of Birmingham), Dr Stefano Camatarri (Italy liaison officer, Catholic University of Louvain), Dr Giulia Sandri (international relations officer, Catholic University of Lille), and Dr Antonella Seddone (US liaison officer, University of Turin). 

What are the aims of your Specialist Group?

The Italian Politics Specialist Group (PSA-IPSG) is a scholarly network devoted to the promotion of research on Italian Politics in the UK and abroad. It was founded in 2001 and in 2017 was awarded the PSA Specialist Group of the Year prize. We are particularly active in the study of party politics, elections, political institutions, and public policy but are interested in all areas of Italian Politics and Society, particularly in a comparative perspective and including the contribution of neighbouring disciplines such as History, Sociology, and Political Economy. We also facilitate the contact and exchange among Italian Politics specialists and between academics, students, practitioners, the media, and the general public. 

What activities do you undertake as a group?

We regularly organize panels at scholarly conferences (Political Studies Association, Società Italiana di Scienze Politiche, American Political Science Association), dedicated workshops, and networking events. We closely collaborate with other PSA specialist groups, professional associations, publishers, and individual scholars to produce joint events and publications. We also advertise new research, resources, and opportunities on Twitter (@PSA_IPSG), in our blog (, and through interviews and commentaries in the media.  

How can new members get involved or find out more?

We are open to all PSA members and non-members interested in Italian Politics and Society. 

To join the group please contact our membership officer Dario Quattromani ( and visit our PSA page ( We also look forward to meeting you in person – as soon as the COVID-19 situation allows – at our famous social evenings at the PSA Annual Conference!