Matteo Giardiello

Populismi digitali al tempo del Covid-19



The paper aims to analyze populist digital communication at the time of Covid-19. It is going to focus on the Italian case and the Usa case, two of the most affected countries by the pandemic crisis. Four different case studies will be analyzed, two per each country: for the Italian context, the digital communication of Giuseppe Conte (M5s, movement-party example of valence populism) and the opposition carried out by Matteo Salvini (Lega, example of right-wing populism); for the Usa, the communication campaign of Donald Trump (Republican Party, famous example of right-wing populism) and the opposition carried out by one of the components of the Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialists of America (Dsa), whose main exponents are Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (symbols of the new american left-wing populism). The analysis uses both a quantitative and a qualitative method, by comparing the points of convergence and differences between the communicative strategies of the three different types of populism. While crises have always been an important opportunity for populisms, the extraordinary nature of the pandemic crisis has led to different outcomes. Populist communicative strategies have varied in accordance to the position of the actors on the government/opposition and right/left axes.


  • Populism
  • Covid-19
  • Crisis
  • Digital Communication
  • Digital Leadership


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