Towards a Multi-Plebiscitarian and Multi-Populist Collective Action?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: 411
Oral Presentation
Francesco ANTONELLI , Scienze Politiche, University of Roma Tre, Roma, Italy

The aim of this paper is to analyze the transformation of populism and charismatic phenomena in contemporary societies. The argument is that the effects of diffusion of new technologies and structural changes in the functioning of social systems are ceding to increased fragmentation of democracy.

 Main Results

Contemporary social, economic and cultural transformations have been driving Society to both a new public sphere and relationship between populism and charismatic power. Simplifying analytically, on one hand, as a matter of fact, a layer of population, mainly old and/or with a limited

cultural capital, lives (almost) exclusively inside the public space created by mass media, by other collective intellectuals and by the most important public intellectuals. On the other hand, following the prompt coming from new intellectuals that operate through the Net, there is a multiplication of niches of consumption, of ways of living, of political opinions.  The possibility of the synthesis declines in this new public sphere. On the contrary, the space of “charismas” grows up. In add, economic dynamics and neo-liberalism thinking makes a pressure to ease in decision-making processes: the myth of the “strong man” rises. Nevertheless, each kind of media advance a different kind of charismatic leaders: thus, we have got several charismatic leaders for each communication and social target group. Charismatic power is not more opposed to rational-legal power: a multiple charismatic groups and leaders represent the normal work of the post-democratic political system. Populism is universal style of this multiple-charismatic politics in contemporary societies. In fact, Populism is not only communication technique but a replacement demand of democratic participation too in a run-way world.