National past and populism: the re-elaboration of fascism and its impact on right-wing populism in Western Europe

National past and populism: the re-elaboration of fascism and its impact on right-wing populism in Western Europe

The electoral performance of right-wing populism depends on the type of reelaboration of countries’ national past and their collective memories. Complementing socio-economic and political-institutional factors, the article analyses cultural opportunity structures. Given the link between fascist and populist visions of power, it shows that different collective memories of the fascist past and World War II open up or close down the space for right-wing populist parties. Theoretically, the typology includes four types of re-elaboration: culpabilisation, victimisation, heroisation and cancellation. Results of a comparative analysis of eight West European countries based on a novel measurement method point to (1) culpabilisation and heroisation as types of re-elaboration limiting right-wing populist parties’ electoral performance, (2) cancellation as a type having an undetermined effect, and (3) victimisation as a type triggering the success of right-wing populist parties.

About the presenter:

Daniele Caramani has joined the University of Zurich in 2014. He grew up in Milan and Paris and studied political science at the University of Geneva where he has also worked as teaching assistant. He holds a Ph.D. from the European University Institute, Florence, where he subsequently has been Vincent Wright Fellow (Robert Schuman Centre). He has been an assistant professor at the University of Florence, has spent four years at the University of Mannheim (MZES) as a researcher, and has been senior lecturer/reader at the University of Birmingham. From 2006 to 2014 he has been a professor at the University of St. Gallen.

In 2019 and 2020 he is visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra. In the past, he has held fellowships at the EUI, Florence, at Nuffield College, Oxford, and at the Rokkan Centre in Bergen.

Date & time

Thu 08 Aug 2019, 12–2pm


LJ Hume Centre, Copland Building, ANU


Daneile Caramani


Marija Taflaga
+61 2 6125 5492


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