ABSTRACT

Chapter 2 contextualizes CasaPound in the specific scenario of far-right politics in Italy. First, the chapter introduces the reader to Italy’s far-right milieu in the post-World War II years (2.1); it then discusses recent developments in Italian politics and the turning points that contributed to revitalizing far-right street politics (2.2). Finally, it presents specific origins of CPI in the early 2000s and its ambivalent engagement in the protest and (more recently) in the electoral arena (2.3 and 2.4). The chapter relies on secondary literature to address the historical and institutional factors defining right-wing mobilization in post-World War II Italy, and makes use of official data from CPI’s website and interviews with national leaders to reconstruct the origins of the group. Based on the notion of political and cultural opportunity structures, the chapter looks at the symbolic legacy of extreme-right politics in post-war Italy to trace the identity and mobilization strategy of CPI.