One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand

Exploring Identity and Electoral Performance of Italian Southernist Parties


  • Marco Improta LUISS University



Elections, Ethnoregionalism, Identity Politics, Southern Italy, Southernist Parties


Despite a considerable body of literature on Italian ethnoregionalist parties, scholars of nationalism and regionalism have overlooked southernist parties. This article aims to fill this lacuna by examining Italian southernist parties’ identity and electoral performance from 1945 to 2020. Firstly, it investigates southernist parties according to ideological positioning, autonomist or secessionist nature, and territorial area of origin. Then, by relying on official data, it explores the parties’ electoral performance in national, European, and regional elections. The main findings of the study show that, since the end of World War II, Italian southernist parties: a) have been characterized by a more autonomist rather than secessionist nature; b) have followed the typical patterns of the catch-all party; c) have performed better in regional elections. This article provides preliminary information on southernist parties, paving the way for further research on such political formations.

Author Biography

Marco Improta, LUISS University

Marco Improta is a PhD Candidate in Politics at the Department of Political Science of LUISS University, Rome. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International and Diplomatic Affairs from the University of Bologna and a master’s degree in Government and Public Policies from LUISS University. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests focus on governments, political representation, and elections in a comparative perspective.




How to Cite

Improta, M. (2021). One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand: Exploring Identity and Electoral Performance of Italian Southernist Parties. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 50, 29–48.