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Title: Filling the vacuum? : the development of the partisan radical left in Germany, France and Italy, 1989-2013
Author: Chiocchetti, Paolo
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 8284
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis charts the development of the parties of the contemporary European radical left over the period 1989-2013. Its aim is to provide a convincing interpretative framework on the topic and an innovative contribution to the scholarship on comparative party analysis. The discussion will focus on three case studies (Germany, France and Italy), selected for their central importance within the European Union and for the diversity of their starting points and trajectories. The analysis addresses three main research questions. Firstly, what is the relevance of radical left parties within contemporary political systems and societies (their societal weight) and what are the main determinants of their growth and decline? Secondly, how can we make sense of the evolution of their political nature, namely the transformations in their ideology, sociology, organisation and strategy? Thirdly, what are the key drivers behind the tendencies to regroupment and fragmentation? I answer to these interrogatives by placing the development of the contemporary radical left firmly within the context of a process of neo-liberalisation of Western European societies and of an emerging vacuum of political representation of working-class and welfarist constituencies. Moreover, I show how an aggregate, multi-dimensional and multi-level approach can help to further our understanding of radical left dynamics and contradictions. The first chapter will provide a theoretical conceptualisation of the radical left as a political space defined by representational contents and by its relationship with the moderate left. The second chapter will present an overview of its historical roots (since 1914) and of its broader Western European context. The central chapters (three, four and five) will be devoted to an in-depth analysis of the three country studies. The final chapter will explicitly compare the German, French and Italian trajectories, draw together the main findings and illustrate their broader significance for political research.
Supervisor: Wolfreys, James Charles ; Kouvelakis, Stathis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available