Keywords: Movimento 5 Stelle; Podemos; Party in Public Office; Party in Central Office; Party on the Ground.
In recent years the main novelty in the Italian and Spanish democracies is represented by the emergence of two new parties: the Movimento 5 stelle (M5s) and Podemos. They have challenged mainstream forces, showing an anti-political establishment character and presenting themselves as democracy-seeking organizations oriented to the renovation of both the political class and the modalities of representation. Aim of this essay is to answer the following question: what are the differences and similarities between M5s and Podemos from an organizational point of view? Adopting an organizational approach, the two parties will be compared along the three dimensions of the party in public office, party in central office and party on the ground. The analysis will show that while both M5s and Podemos favoured the renewal of the political class in their respective parliaments, they considerably differ in terms of organizational structure and of equilibrium among the three faces. The differences depend on their specific original model and, to a lesser extent, on the external challenges they have faced during their evolution.