Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Jennifer Yoder

Second Advisor

Milan Babík


The fundamental question that this research project aims to answer is: what are the defining characteristics of the style and rhetoric of the communication practices of Italian right-wing populist leadership and how do they relate to those of fascism? After the Italian elections of 2022, in which a right-wing populist coalition led by Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini came to power, further research is necessary to understand the potential implications of this electoral result. Political communication has developed in recent years to shift towards direct communication from the leader to their base through social media and speeches published on YouTube. Through an analysis of this direct political communication from Salvini and Meloni, this study will add to the scholarly understanding of Italian right-wing populist leadership by investigating whether there is a slide toward a more extreme form of right-wing populism occurring. In a time where the popularity and electoral success of right-wing populists have surged, it is important to gain a more comprehensive understanding of whether these leaders are spreading extremist ideas that endanger their country’s democratic system and the rule of law.


Italy, Political Communication, Giorgia Meloni, Matteo Salvini, Right-wing Populism