Radical Right Politics

This research group gathers scholars investigating Radical Right Politics in the 21st century (nationalisms, populisms, anti gender movements). A specific focus is on the interactions between radical right social movements and political parties, or ‘movement-parties’. 

It pursues research on radical right participation (also online), mobilization, organization, and consequences for liberal democracies, highlighting novel topics/perspectives (emotions, political identification, discourse theory, social networks, etc.). As right-wing radicalism, from populist parties and politicians to extremist movements, is gaining strength and visibility in many liberal democracies in Europe, as well as in North America and Asia (e.g. Japan), this RG tries to understand, from a social movement approach, the growing strength and social support of contemporary radical right groups and parties in a range of forms and practices, from protests and street actions to formal institutions, by exploring the causes,  patterns,  interactions with various actors, at a macro, meso and micro level perspective, using mixed method of analysis. In the past decade, we have also witnessed the rise of xenophobic (anti gender) movements in the public sphere in Europe and beyond. A central focus is on agents of the radical right, and how recent health, economic, political, im/migration and war crises of the EU and worldwide have affected the diffusion and consolidation of varieties of RR actors in Europe and beyond (such as new kinds of social movements and subcultural and violent groups), as well as on current trends of trasnationalisation of RR frames, identities, organisations and actions.


  1. 2023-2026 CIDAPE  ‘Climate, Inequality, and Democratic Action: The Force of Political Emotions’,   HORIZON-CL2-2023-DEMOCRACY-01-04, Principal investigator.
  2. 2022-2025 AUTHLIB ‘Neo –Authoritarianisms in Europe and the liberal democratic response’,   Principal investigator.
  3. 2.2022-2024 ‘Democratic Challenges, Social sustainability and Gender inequalities’, Programma congiunto  PRO3 (DM n. 289/2021), principal investigator/project coordinator.

Presented papers:

Papers on far-right movements and Europe/europeanization; online far-right networks; transnationalization of the far-right; anti-gender movements; hate speech and social media; gender/antigender and populism, presented at the:

  1. Annual Conference of the Italian Political Science Society (section social movements and section political communication), september 2023
  2. European Consortium of Political Science (ECPR) Conference, Summer 2023;
  3. Pro3 Project Final Conference on Disequalities , Caiani/Feo "Modern Sexism and the vote for the RR," January 2024, SNS.

Panel chaired:

by Manuela Caiani, Enrico Padoan & Karlo Kralj at the ECPR conference 2023 Praga.

Workshops and conferences:

  • (with Hans Joerg Trenz) Summer School on visual analysis and contentious politics, Cortona, 2023, 2024
  • ECPR General Conference August 2024, Section on “Radical right movements in the 21st century: Mobilization, Formations and Consequences”, Section Chair/ Co-Chair: Manuela Caiani (SNS) and Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh   
  • ECPR General Conference August 2024, Panel on “The RR and anti-Vax protests in Europe and beyond”, panel chair/co-chair: Manuela Caiani (SNS) and Pál Susánszky (Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest)
  • meeting semestrali di ricerca con i partners del progetto populism and pop music,  in Italia (SNS), Ungheria, Svezia e Austria (2023)

Scientific consultancy, participation in scientific committee, third mission

  • 2020-present: SPIRIT Evaluation Commission, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) 
  • 2021-2023: Convenor of the Standing Group "Social Movements and Political Participation," of SISP, Italian society of political science , coordinated by Manuela Caiani
  • Cycle of seminars OCIS (observatory for social cohesion and inclusion: https://osservatoriocoesionesociale.eu/), throughout 2023, organized by Manuela Caiani, Ocis in collaboration with SNS


  • Lezioni Caiani per la Normale a Scuola (destra, destra ed internet, populismi in Europa, hate speeches, anti gender)= 1 lezione al mese
  • Crash courses (2/4 h l’uno), Social network analysis, visual analysis e Focus groups, offerti alla SNS, 2023

Recent publications:

  • Manuela Caiani & Balša Lubarda (2023) Conditional environmentalism of right-wing populism in power: ideology and/or opportunities?, Environmental Politics, DOI: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09644016.2023.2242749
  • Caiani, M. et all. (2023) Challengers or the Establishment? How Populists Talk About Populists, German Politics, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2023.2207014
  • Caiani, M., & Di Cocco, J. (2023). Populism and emotions: A comparative study using Machine Learning. Italian Political Science Review / Rivista Italiana Di Scienza Politica, 1-16. DOI:10.1017/ipo.2023.8
  • Caiani, M. (2023). Framing and social movements. Discourse Studies, 25(2), 195–209.
  • Manuela Caiani and Enrico Padoan (2023), Populism and (Pop) Music, Palgrave

Research infrastructures:

  • software per l’analisi qualitativa del contenuto (MaxqDA),
  • software per la social network analysis (UCINET)
  • software per l’analisi emozionale del contenuto (ACASM)
  • software di statistica sociale SPSS