Edited by Franco Zappettini and Samuel Bennett
[Journal of Language and Politics 21:2] 2022
► pp. 277–299
The European project has always played a pivotal role in Italy’s politics and Italian political discourse. The European Union (EU) represented the primary vehicle through which to regain international legitimacy. From this perspective, the intensification in the last few years of the Eurosceptic and populist discourse of Matteo Salvini’s Lega has marked a critical turning point. This article contributes to an understanding of such process from critical discursive and historical perspectives. Building on the concept of recontextualization as elaborated in CDS but also more generally appealing to conceptual history and Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) frameworks, this study deconstructs the Lega’s Euroscepticism diachronically, interpreting populism as a key discursive element of the Lega’s Far Right ideology. We thus highlight how the Lega’s Eurosceptic discourse and the recontextualisation of the European legitimisation process present a dramatic change and seem highly indicative of a new ideological and extra-party cleavage of ‘sovereignism’.