Graziana Corica

Women of the Lega, women for the Lega. The electoral campaigns of Lucia Borgonzoni and Susanna Ceccardi

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This article contributes to the debate about how gender-related themes are mobilized by populist radical right parties in Europe. While European studies have long delved into the feminization of leadership and discourses, the Italian socio-political scholarship has only recently begun to explore these dimensions, focusing primarily on female MPs of Fratelli d’Italia, as well as militants and local politicians of the Lega party. In order to bridge this gap, the analysis focuses on the electoral campaigns of Lucia Borgonzoni and Susanna Ceccardi, two prominent figures within the Lega party, who ran in the regional presidential elections of 2020 in Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The study has been conducted through a qualitative approach, based on content analysis, using different sources including social media, press releases, and grey literature such as electoral programs and party documents. The aims is to identify gender-related themes in the discourses of the two politicians, such as violence against women, work-family balance, and migration. This strategy, along with their political paths, allows us to distinguish two different styles of leadership by the two candidates, and to highlight the presence of divergent positions on gender issues within the same political force. In conclusion, this study offers new insights into righting feminism, enriching the European debate on female leadership within the PPR from a comparative perspective


  • populist radical right parties
  • gender politics
  • Lega party
  • righting feminism
  • Women political leaders


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