Episode: The Authoritarian's Playbook: Targeting Outsiders in Italy

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The Authoritarian's Playbook: Targeting Outsiders in Italy

Matteo Salvini is one of Italy’s most popular politicians. His harsh rhetoric against migrants, the media, and cultural integration has resonated with Italians, especially the youth.

His party is the Lega, or league in English, and in the last 6 years, their support among Italians under 35 has grown from 8% to over 20%. And even more broadly, Lega is now the second most popular party across Italy.

In this episode, targeting outsiders in Italy, our global fellows Alessia Cerantola and Lorenzo Bagnoli spoke with young Italians who are joining right-wing movements. They say that Italy’s white, Christian identity is under threat from the influx of arriving migrants.

In a six-month reporting project titled Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian’s Playbook, GroundTruth reporting fellows in India, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Poland, Italy and the United States chronicled how seven nationalist leaders in each of these countries seem to be working from the same playbook. It is a playbook that can be pieced together from the speeches and techniques in use by an interconnected web of populist leaders and their strategists as a way to gain power, impose their values and implement their agenda. Scholars on democracy say they seem eager to join China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other leading authoritarian states in stamping out democratic protections and reshaping the global order.

Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian’s Playbook, A GroundTruth Podcast/Atlantic Magazine Collaboration

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