ABSTRACT

Several contemporary leaders establish democracies comparable to Silvio Berlusconi, the founder of Forza Italia (FI) and the Popolo della Liberta (PdL). Forza Italia and its successor, the Popolo della Liberta, have been the leading parties on the Italian centre-right since the collapse of the so-called First Republic in the early 1990s. This chapter is divided into two main sections: first, talks about FI and the PDL in organizational terms, and second discusses the classification of FI and the PDL as populist and considers their ideologies as laid out in official party documents something which has often been overlooked amidst the attention on the leader. It focuses on Berlusconi's position as leader, and gives considerable attention to the often marginalized question of ideology of Berlusconi's two personal parties. To examine the ideology of FI and the PDL, people have to consider the 'Charter of Values' produced by each of the two parties.