Loris Caruso

Neo-Bonapartism and Radical Democracy. Gramsci's Political Science and the Crisis of Contemporary Political Systems

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In the context of the worsening economic crisis analogies tend to be drawn between the economic and political crisis in Europe of the 1920s and 1930s and the current situation. Then as now, widespread criticism of representative institutions and the political actors that govern them grew. Also similarly to that period, it is argued that there is a risk that a systemic economic crisis will in turn lead to authoritarian outcomes. Rarer, however, is the idea that the current political and economic crisis may lead to a "progressive" outcome. This article examines both options from a theoretical point of view, beginning from the thinking of one of the most important interpreters of political crisis and change in the 1920s and 1930s: Antonio Gramsci. One of the central arguments in Gramsci's Prison Notebooks is the crisis of parliamentarianism and democratic politics of the 1920s and 1930s. Gramsci did not limit his analysis to the crisis however. His theoretical undertaking also consisted in the attempt to imagine the conditions for moving beyond the democratic crisis in a progressive manner.


  • Democracy
  • Democratic Crisis
  • Gramsci
  • Populism
  • Economic Crisis


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