The Rise of the Invisible Majority

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 11 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Emanuele FERRAGINA, Sciences Po, France
Alessandro ARRIGONI, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
A second Great Transformation, encompassing four interconnected processes – the advent of neoliberalism, the European monetary integration, the inadequacy of the old welfare state, and the requiem of social democracy –, has dramatically modified the composition of Italian society. The paper establishes a link between this shift and the rise of the invisible majority. We define the invisible majority as a heterogeneous social group of 20 million potential voters, including unemployed, precarious workers, neet, and poor pensioners. These social categories constitute the majority of the Italian electorate; however, their instances and interests seem to be invisible to mainstream politics. Critically using median voter theory and analyzing the first post-crisis parliamentary election, we illustrate, what we claim to be, the first appearance of the invisible majority in the public arena.