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Populism in Europe: CasaPound in Italy

October 1, 2012

Nationalist populist parties and movements are growing in support throughout Europe. These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their "anti-establishment" views and their concern with protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit and organize.One of the most difficult to classify of these groups is the neo-fascist political and cultural movement CasaPound. CasaPound emphasizes modes of direct activism (for example, organising street protests, demonstrative actions, political campaigns and street marches) over more formal methods of political engagement. Unlike other far-right movements and parties in Europe for which immigration is the key issue, CasaPound's policy positions cover a range of economic and social areas with its primary concern being the "housing right" for Italian citizens.This report presents the results of a survey of Facebook fans of CasaPound. It includes data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism. It also compares them with other similar parties in Western Europe, shedding light on their growing online support, and the relationship between their online and offline activities. This report is the sixth in a series of country specific briefings about the online support of populist parties in 12 European countries, based on a survey of 13,000 Facebook fans of these groups.

Populism in Europe: Netherlands

September 1, 2012

Nationalist populist parties and movements are growing in support throughout Europe. These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their 'anti-establishment' views and their concern for protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit and organise.Geert Wilders and his Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) in the Netherlands are perhaps the best known of these new movements, enjoying steady growth since being founded in 2004. In the 2010 parliamentary election, the PVV won 24 seats, which made it the third largest party in the Netherlands, and gave it a key role in keeping the minority government of Mark Rutte in office. The PVV places strong emphasis on the need to address immigration and what it sees as a failed multicultural policy, with Wilders being well known for his often incendiary remarks about Islam. Recently, Wilders has been directing more of his attention toward the European Union: opposing the deficit reduction plan, and Brussels more generally.This report presents the results of a survey of Facebook fans of the PVV. It includes data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism. It also compares them with other similar parties in Western Europe, shedding light on their growing online support and the relationship between their online and offline activities. This report is the fourth in a series of country specific briefings about the online support of populist parties in 12 European countries, based on our survey of 13,000 Facebook fans of these groups.

Populism in Europe: Denmark

May 1, 2012

Nationalist populist parties and movements are growing in support throughout Europe. These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their "anti-establishment" views and their concern for protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit, and organize.The Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party, DPP) is one of the most successful of these groups in Western Europe. It is the third largest party in Denmark and was a member of the coalition government from 2002 until 2011. The DPP's policies relate primarily to the protection of Danish identity and heritage, with particular focus on limiting immigration and rejecting multiculturalism, publicly stating that a multi-ethnic Danish society would be a "national disaster." Their attitude was crystallized during the scandal following the publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed—they openly supported the move as an example of free speech.This report presents the results of a survey of Facebook fans of the Danish People's Party. It includes data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism. It also compares them with other similar parties in Western Europe, shedding light on their growing online support, and the relationship between their online and offline activities.Populism in Europe: Denmark is the third in a series of country briefing papers released in 2012 about the online support of populist political parties and street-based groups in Europe. These papers are based on a dataset of approximately 13,000 Facebook supporters of these "nationalist populist" parties in 12 European countries, which was published in the Demos report, The New Face of Digital Populism, in November 2011. The first report Populism in Europe: Hungary was published in January 2012 and Populism in Europe: Sweden in February 2012. Reports on France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Italy and Belgium will follow.The reports are part of an Open Society Foundations initiative conducting research and pilot projects tackling innovative approaches to keeping societies open in Europe.

The New Face of Digital Populism

December 21, 2011

Based on a survey, examines the role of social media in the rise of populist "new right" political parties in Western Europe, including online populists' characteristics, views on immigration, and motivations in moving from virtual to real-world activism.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Access and Policy; Media Platforms

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