Table of Contents:

Conclusive remarks

This chapter has described the main organizational features of CasaPound, focusing on its formal organization, leadership, recruitment strategies and modes of engagement. For each of these dimensions, it illustrated that CPI organizes internally by strategically hybridizing the configurational models of both political parties and of social movements. By looking at the internal structure of CPI, our analysis argued that these two models can coexist. This, in turn, provides recognition to the group.

Like political parties, CPI organizes territorially around one central headquarters and several local branches, hierarchically subordinated to Rome but whose functions are linked to the recruitment of supporters and collecting membership fees. Furthermore, it promotes a formally organized youth wing, which responds directly to the national offices. Other features distinguish CPI from the usual internal structure of far-right political parties. It does not foresee any formal representation of local units at the national level, nor does it envisage any formal mechanism dealing with questions of collective choice, internal democracy and personnel selection. As the group does not count on a professionalized staff, the leader distributes tasks depending on activists’ skills and competences. Similarly, recruitment strategies combine conventional activities typical of party campaigning, and the dense informal networks of social movements. This is sustained by a set of thematic associations that take responsibility for specific projects and try to draw individuals into activism through informal and non-political activities in various fields (environment, community service, etc.). Additionally, CPI promotes spaces devoted to the socialization of activists, including subcultural activities, gyms and organized football groups.

Overall, the chapter argued that CPI’s ability in recruiting sympathizers and sustaining activists’ engagement rests precisely on its hybrid organizational configuration. By facilitating the involvement of activists and attracting financial resources from different sources, hybridization has contributed to sustain CPI’s organization and public profile. Moving to a discussion of CPI’s collective action, Chapter 5 examines how individuals relate to CasaPound as an organization, discussing hybridization in the symbols and practices that define CPI’s collective identity.

Notes

  • 1 In 2017, a journalistic investigation by the magazine L’Espresso reported that CPI uses its funds for purposes that go beyond its everyday political goals (L’Espresso 2017).
  • 2 In the past, this was done on a website related to CPI called the Ideodromo and through a blog called Vivamafarka which, however, are no longer active.
  • 3 Interview no. 3a of 01/06/2012.
  • 4 Interview no. 3a of 01/06/2012.
  • 5 Interview no. 3a of 01/06/2012.
  • 6 Interview no. 2b of 27/04/2012.
  • 7 Interview no. lb of 19/04/2012.
  • 8 In the city of Florence on 13 December 2011, Cianluca Casseri, a CPI sympathizer, shot dead two market traders from Senegal, Samb Modou and Mor Diop, before committing suicide. The video of Gianluca Iannone’s interview on TV is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPlYIFqR2CE (accessed 24/07/2013).
  • 9 The expression ‘Soldier, Brother, Friend’ was used by an activist during interview no. 3a of 1/06/2012.
  • 10 Interview no. lb of 19/04/2012.
  • 11 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 12 Interview no. lb of 19/04/2012.
  • 13 Interview no. 2b of 27/04/2012.
  • 14 Interview no. lb of 19/04/2012.
  • 15 It was not possible to find reliable figures for the number of CasaPound members (beyond those provided by CPI itself). During fieldwork, we were told that CPI had 10,000 registered members but this figure could not be verified.
  • 16 Interview no. 6a of 20/09/2012.
  • 17 Interview no. 2b of 27/04/2012.
  • 18 Interview no. 5c of 26/06/2012.
  • 19 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 20 Interview no. 5a of 26/06/2012.
  • 21 Interview no. lc of 19/04/2012.
  • 22 Interview no. 5b of 26/06/2012.
  • 23 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 24 Interview no. 5c of 26/06/2012.
  • 25 Interview no. lb of 19/04/2012.
  • 26 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 27 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 28 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 29 Interview no. 2c of 27/04/2012.
  • 30 Interview no. 2d of 27/04/2012.
  • 31 While the reality may be more complex than the simplification we have adopted, we use the term ‘sex’ for men, women and transsexuals to refer to biological distinctions and ‘gender’ to refer to social constructs not biologically linked to sexes but shaped by social structures, norms and institutions. The gendered dimension of CPI’s ideology is examined in Chapter 3.
  • 32 The law mentions a number of mechanisms making sure that each party or coalition docs not have more than 60 per cent of candidates of the same sex.
  • 33 Interview no. 5b of 28/06/2012.
  • 34 Interview no. 5b of 28/06/2012.
  • 35 Interview no. 6b of 20/09/2012.
  • 36 Interview no. 5b of 28/06/2012.
  • 37 Interview no. 5b of 28/06/2012.
  • 38 Interview no. 5b of 28/06/2012.
  • 39 As confirmed by the information and security policy report issued by the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers in 2008 (Prcsidcnza del Consiglio dei Ministri 2008).
  • 40 Literally the curved ends of a stadium, where the most fanatical supporters (ultras) stand.
  • 41 Interview no. 3a of 1/06/2012.
  • 42 This is also the title of a song by ZZA.
  • 43 Interview no. lb of 19/04/2012.

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