This Ph.D. dissertation inquires into an often-neglected dimension of radical left politics: the relation with national identity. Although the scholarly literature on party politics has mostly overlooked this relation, it is a relevant aspect of radical left parties’ identity and concrete politics. It is an issue for which there is a puzzling heterogeneity of outlooks within the ranks of the radical Left. Many European radical left parties tend to simply downplay national identity in their political discourse; but others openly reject it; and still others fiercely embrace it. The aim of the research is thus twofold: (a) to study how radical left parties frame and express national identity in their discourse; and (b) to examine the reasons that lie behind the high variation of stances held by ideologically similar actors. This thesis first presents a historical and theoretical overview of the relation between leftist and nationalist politics; then, in order to answer the two research questions, it centres the empirical focus on contemporary radical left parties in Spain, Italy and Portugal. The research brings together nationalism studies and the party politics scholarship on the radical Left; and it draws from an interpretive approach to comparative political science. At the methodological level, this study is based on a triangulation of three different methods of data gathering and analysis: semi-structured interviews, discourse-theoretical analysis and participant observation. As the findings indicate, the relation of the radical Left with national identity is complex and multifaceted, and the heterogeneity of outlooks is related to contextual factors, from historical conditions to political conjunctures, but also depends on the agency of parties. In fact, the stances of radical left parties on national identity intersect with other relevant aspects of their politics, such as their ideological positioning, their strategic reflections and their interaction with the political arena they operate in. Furthermore, national identity is more than something either present or absent in the discourse of a given radical left actor: it can mean different things and its presence in the discourses and practices of radical left politics may assume very different forms. Accordingly, the relation with the nation is an important dimension that should not be dismissed when studying radical left parties. It is a shortcoming in the academic literature that this thesis covers, adding to the studies on the radical Left a thorough empirical analysis of this often-omitted, but by no means irrelevant, dimension.

The Nation and the Radical Left : radical left parties and national identity in Portugal, Spain and Italy / Custodi, Jacopo. - (2022 Jun 03).

The Nation and the Radical Left : radical left parties and national identity in Portugal, Spain and Italy

CUSTODI, Jacopo
2022

Abstract

This Ph.D. dissertation inquires into an often-neglected dimension of radical left politics: the relation with national identity. Although the scholarly literature on party politics has mostly overlooked this relation, it is a relevant aspect of radical left parties’ identity and concrete politics. It is an issue for which there is a puzzling heterogeneity of outlooks within the ranks of the radical Left. Many European radical left parties tend to simply downplay national identity in their political discourse; but others openly reject it; and still others fiercely embrace it. The aim of the research is thus twofold: (a) to study how radical left parties frame and express national identity in their discourse; and (b) to examine the reasons that lie behind the high variation of stances held by ideologically similar actors. This thesis first presents a historical and theoretical overview of the relation between leftist and nationalist politics; then, in order to answer the two research questions, it centres the empirical focus on contemporary radical left parties in Spain, Italy and Portugal. The research brings together nationalism studies and the party politics scholarship on the radical Left; and it draws from an interpretive approach to comparative political science. At the methodological level, this study is based on a triangulation of three different methods of data gathering and analysis: semi-structured interviews, discourse-theoretical analysis and participant observation. As the findings indicate, the relation of the radical Left with national identity is complex and multifaceted, and the heterogeneity of outlooks is related to contextual factors, from historical conditions to political conjunctures, but also depends on the agency of parties. In fact, the stances of radical left parties on national identity intersect with other relevant aspects of their politics, such as their ideological positioning, their strategic reflections and their interaction with the political arena they operate in. Furthermore, national identity is more than something either present or absent in the discourse of a given radical left actor: it can mean different things and its presence in the discourses and practices of radical left politics may assume very different forms. Accordingly, the relation with the nation is an important dimension that should not be dismissed when studying radical left parties. It is a shortcoming in the academic literature that this thesis covers, adding to the studies on the radical Left a thorough empirical analysis of this often-omitted, but by no means irrelevant, dimension.
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Scienza politica e sociologia
CAIANI, Manuela
De Cleen, Benjamin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/125083
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