New political actors in Europe : Beppe Grillo and the M5S

Research, Book English OPEN
BARTLETT, Jamie ; FROIO, Caterina ; LITTLER, Mark ; MCDONNELL, Duncan (2013)
  • Publisher: Demos

New social and political movements from radically different political positions are emerging across Europe using social media, posing a new challenge to existing political parties and structures. The Pirate Party in Germany and the Occupy movement are examples of movements that have employed social media to grow rapidly and create a significant political and social impact – all in the last three years.\ud \ud Beppe Grillo, the Italian comedian and blogger, is one of the first political figures to have embraced this change. He has used social media to communicate, recruit and organise, growing the Moviment 5 Stelle from practically nothing to a major political force in Italy in the space of three years, with it expected to play a crucial role in the 2013 Italian elections. His anti-establishment message has resonated with many against a backdrop of declining trust in political institutions, falling political party membership and ever-lower voter turnout.\ud \ud This report presents the results of a survey of 1,865 Facebook fans of Beppe Grillo and the Movimento 5 Stelle. It includes data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism. It also compares them with other similar parties in Western Europe and their attitudes to those of the Italian population. This report is the seventh in a series of country specific briefings about the online support of populist parties across Europe.
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    27 references, page 1 of 3

    i s p r o j c t w a s s u p p o r t e d J Bartlett, J Birdwell and M Littler, The New Face of Digital Populism, London: Demos, 2011, www.demos.co.uk/publications/ thenewfaceofdigitalpopulism (accessed 16 Feb 2012).

    T Postmes and S Brunsting, 'Collective action in the age of the internet: mass communication and online mobilization', Social Science Computer Review 20, issue 3, 2002; M Castells, 'The mobile civil society: social movements, political power and communication networks' in M Castells et al, Mobile Communication and Society: A global perspective, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2007.

    6 I Van Biezen, P Mair and T Poguntke, 'Going, going,...gone? The decline of party membership in contemporary Europe', European Journal of Political Research 51, 2012, pp 24-56.

    7 'Social media powers youth participation in politics', Science Daily, 26 Jun 2012, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/ 2012/06/120626121043.htm (accessed 14 Dec 2012).

    8 9 10 See B Grillo, 'Comunicato politico numero venticinque', blog, 9 Sep 2009, www.beppegrillo.it/2009/09/comunicato_politico_ numero_venticinque.html (accessed 14 Dec 2012).

    12 See 'Top Italia: Generale', BlogItalia, 30 Nov 2012, www.blogitalia.it/classifica/ (accessed 14 Dec 2012); and 'beppegrillo.it: il blog di beppe Grillo', Alexa, nd, www.alexa. com/siteinfo/beppegrillo.it (accessed 14 Dec 2012).

    13 European Commission, 'Public opinion in the European Union', Standard Eurobarometer 57, spring 2002, http://ec.europa.eu/ public_opinion/archives/eb/eb57/eb57_en.htm (accessed 14 Dec 2012).

    14 B Swenson, 'The human network: social media and the limits of politics', Baltic Journal of Law and Politics 1, no 1, 2012, pp 102-24.

    18 See 'Regolamento', Movimento Beppegrillo.it, 10 Dec 2009, www.beppegrillo.it/iniziative/movimentocinquestelle/ Regolamento-Movimento-5-Stelle.pdf (accessed 14 Dec 2012)..

    19 On the 2012 Italian local elections, see D McDonnell, 'None of Italy's 50 largest cities has a female mayor: even with its party system in turmoil, Italy remains a country for old men', blog, 19 May 2012, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2012/05/19/italypolitics-turmoil/ (accessed 14 Dec 2012).

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