This book launches a proposal: to fill some empirical and theoretical gaps that presently exists in populism studies by looking at the potential nexus between populist phenomena and popular culture. It provides a detailed account of the multiple mechanisms linking the production of pop music (as a form of popular culture) to the rise and reproduction of populism. The authors use a case study of Italy to interrogate these mechanisms because of its long-lasting populist phenomena and the contextual importance of pop music. The book's mixed-methods strategy assesses three different aspects of the potential relationship between pop music and populist politics: the cultural opportunity structure generated and reproduced by the production of music, the strategies political actors use to exploit music for political purposes, and, crucially, the ways fans and ordinary citizens understand the relationship between pop music and politics, and subsequent debates and identities. Moving from the case study, the book in its last chapter offers a more general understanding of the associations between pop music and populism.
Manuela Caiani is Associate Professor in Political Science at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Italy.
Enrico Padoan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences (DISPOC) of the University of Siena, Italy.